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Article

Improved Wellbeing for Both Caretakers and Users from A Zoo-Related Nature Based Intervention—A Study at Nordens Ark Zoo, Sweden

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Department of Work Science, Business Economics and Environmental Psychology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O.Box.88, SE-230 53 Alnarp, Sweden
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Nordens Ark Foundation, Åby Säteri, SE-456 93 Hunnebostrand, Sweden
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Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 234, SE-532 23 Skara, Sweden
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Southern Swedish Forest Research Center, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 49, SE-232 52 Alnarp, Sweden
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Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre, University of Gothenburg, Box 100, S-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4929; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244929
Received: 15 October 2019 / Revised: 2 December 2019 / Accepted: 3 December 2019 / Published: 5 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Therapies and Human Health)
Nature-based interventions have been proposed to promote physical and mental health and give stress reduction. Little attention has been given to the potential of zoos for human health and wellbeing. A disadvantaged group in Sweden regarding access to nature are individuals with disabilities who consequently do not have the same access to these health benefits as other groups. To increase awareness and knowledge regarding spending time in nature and with animals, courses directed at caretakers for persons with disabilities and their users were held at Nordens Ark, a zoo in Sweden. To explore if the courses had led to increased nature activities, and if participating in the courses had affected caretakers’ and their users’ health and wellbeing, questionnaires and interviews for evaluating the courses were used. The results showed improved quality in nature visits because of course participation as well as positive effects for the wellbeing, sustainability for the caregivers and users in their working lives, and relationships were positively affected. The conclusion from this study is that nature and animal-based education should be more frequent to provide opportunities for a disadvantaged group to have the positive effects of nature of which most other groups have obvious access to. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; nature exposure; human–animal interaction; neurological disabilities; outdoor education; animal and nature course sustainability; nature exposure; human–animal interaction; neurological disabilities; outdoor education; animal and nature course
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sahlin, E.; Johansson, B.; Karlsson, P.-O.; Loberg, J.; Niklasson, M.; Grahn, P. Improved Wellbeing for Both Caretakers and Users from A Zoo-Related Nature Based Intervention—A Study at Nordens Ark Zoo, Sweden. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4929. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244929

AMA Style

Sahlin E, Johansson B, Karlsson P-O, Loberg J, Niklasson M, Grahn P. Improved Wellbeing for Both Caretakers and Users from A Zoo-Related Nature Based Intervention—A Study at Nordens Ark Zoo, Sweden. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(24):4929. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244929

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sahlin, Eva, Björn Johansson, Per-Olof Karlsson, Jenny Loberg, Mats Niklasson, and Patrik Grahn. 2019. "Improved Wellbeing for Both Caretakers and Users from A Zoo-Related Nature Based Intervention—A Study at Nordens Ark Zoo, Sweden" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 24: 4929. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244929

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