Publication: The Effects of Workplace Nature-Based Interventions on the Mental Health and Well-Being of Employees: A Systematic Review

Research Impact:  Susan Gritzka MSc. was a funded PESS intern and an Enterprise Ireland funded research associate on H2020 proposals. Her MSc research was co-supervised by Dr Tadhg MacIntyre and Dr Denise Dörfel (TU Dresden). Professor Giovanna Calogiuri is part of the GOGREEN ROUTES H2020 project and Jordan Baker-Blanc was a PESS student on the MSc. in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology. This publication is part of a multi-journal research topic in Frontiers including Frontiers in Psychiatry (Impact Factor 3.161; Q1). The research topic Human Nature interactions: Conceptual and Methodological Issues has 20 articles and a forthcoming editorial on this topic and aims to advance the standard of evidence in the field. Support for Open Access publishing was received from INN University. We also wish to acknowledge the mentoring of Prof. Alan Donnelly and support of Dr Giles Warrington in enabling this research activity.

The infographic above conveys the research process and key outcomes which resonate with both our current restrictions where nature based interventions may be useful and the future of workplaces in a Post COVID19 world. Nature-based interventions are programmes, activities or strategies that aim to engage people in nature-based experiences with the specific goal of improving health and well-being. Our narrative synthesis indicated consistently positive effects on mental health indices and cognitive ability, while mixed results were found for the other outcome categories. Although, we must exercise caution  when interpreting the current evidence in this emerging research field because of the diversity of NBIs and the overall high risk of bias in the individual studies, one should note that these interventions are low-cost and low-risk with broad societal appeal. Although in this field often researchers have to balance scientific rigor and ecological validity, there is a need for large, well-designed and rigorously conducted trials grounded in contemporary theories beyond the dichotomous models of environmental psychology.

Gritzka, S., MacIntyre, T.E., Dörfel D., Baker-Blanc, J..L & Calogiuri, G. (2020). The Effects of Workplace Nature-Based Interventions on the Mental Health and Well-Being of Employees: A Systematic Review. Front. Psychiatry 11:323. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2020.00323 

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