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Strengthening our connection with nature can positively impact our physical and mental health

Lahti sets out to connect nature and public health

Lahti sets out to connect nature and public health

It will launch the “Natural Step to Health” programme next year

On 5 October, the winner of the 2021 European Green Capital title Lahti revealed its plans to launch a new programme designed to benefit both public health and the environment. The Finnish city will officially introduce this programme in connection with the People and Planet Congress on 9 November.

After this, the “Natural Step to Health” programme will be launched in 2022. What is more, it will serve as a roadmap that will help the region achieve its environmental and health-related goals over the next 10 years.

Emphasising the link between health and nature

It is a well-known fact that the lifestyles we choose can be detrimental to our overall health and the environment. What we eat, how much we move, and what we do on a daily basis matter tremendously as these things influence our well-being and that of the climate.

On its website, the City of Lahti points out that although medicine and healthcare have significantly advanced over the past several years, certain illnesses are still on the rise. More specifically, asthma, diabetes, obesity, and various depressive symptoms are becoming more and more common.

According to the 2021 European Green Capital, human well-being and the environment have always been treated separately. Now, with its new 10-year health and environmental programme, Lahti sets out to connect nature and public health in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

“Our current way of life consumes both nature and people, so we need a change. The change will probably also offer cost savings to society, as much of our social spending is caused by public diseases, the increase of which has gone hand in hand with urbanisation and alienation from nature,” commented Professor Emeritus Tari Haahtela, one of the experts who helped design the programme.

Ultimately, “Natural Step to Health” aims to highlight the research-backed idea that nature can positively impact our physical and mental well-being. As such, it promotes strengthening one’s connection with nature, opting for more sustainable nutrition, and increasing our mobility.

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