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Wellbeing and tourism

Wellbeing and Tourism Conference, Cardiff: Dr William Bird, Intelligent Health

Defining the topic as about people, place and purpose. When purpose gets lost, in retirement for instance, health deteriorates quickly. When all three are lost, chronic stress develops. I'm thinking "this connects well to Covey's work on motivation, and could be strengthened by the addition of learning. 

Take an hour to equal 1000 uears, then from Monday to Friday is 100,000 years. 9 minutes ago the industrial age started and our bodies haven't caught up with the design that's needed. Our mitochondria convert oxygen and sugar into energy; chronic stress damages our mitochondria and can lead to an increase in free radicals, releasing Cortisol. People suffering from chronic stress will die earlier, with anxiety and depression contributing to poor health. 

If we get people, place and purpose right, energy starts to flow in the mitochondria and leads to longer life. Being in tranquil place slows the ageing process and reduces the chances of dementia, heart disease and stress. We need to help people understand how to access the energy and benefit that's out there.

Ellaway and Macintyre (BMJ) showed that people living near green spaces had lower obesity. A study in the US showed a 6kg increase in weight for boys living away from green areas.

Physical activity - Fitirex Treatment - 30% lower death 35% less type 2 diabetes, 35%  lower risk of hip fracture, 80% less risk of osteoarthiritic disability. If Fitness and Exercise was a drug, everyone would be prescribed it.

In a family, great grandfather could roam 6 miles to play footy or a mile to swim. The grandson is only allowed to roam 300m from the door of the house - too cocooned and unable to explore the world around them - giving children freedom is to important. Without freedom by the age of 12, children are unlikely to learn how to feel free in nature. 

Intellgent Health are using swipe cards to incentivise people to take the first steps out of their ususal path - nudge therapy does work.

In nature, and with friends, blood pressure can drop in as litle as three minutes - in traffic or pedestrian malls, it stays the same. In Chicago tower blocks, some areas of housing estates had lost both trees and greenery, whilst other areas kep them - in areas with no green, coping mechanisms and domestic violence were signicifantly worse.

A Lancet study mapped income levels vs income in terms of death - for the very wealthy, access to green space is not dependent on where you live - in middle income, very green environments showed a trend, whereas for the poor, the differences were huge - differences between wealthy and poor in 'very green' spaces were not huge, whereas in areas with little green, they hadn't changed in 15 years.

Natural England developed the Natural Health Service, creating both supply and demand, by getting green space into buildings - in a Melbourne children's hospital, the park continues right inside as far as the children's rooms.

How do we get the energy through?

Reader Comments (1)

Nature with fresh air and environment always play an important role in the human life. Nautre and tourism are interrelated, if the place is full of natural beauty and greenery tourist attracts towards it. I had been to Haryana and I experienced the great nature tour also enjoy the Surajkund Crafts Mela over there.

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