Well-being from Nature

Photo: Outi Kähkönen


Have you noticed that spending time in nature improves the mood, calms down or makes you more active?

Nature has various positive impacts on physical, mental and social well-being and health. Being in nature lowers blood pressure, reduces pre-existing stress levels and promotes relaxation, improves people’s overall mood, encourages physical exercise and an active way of living, facilitates social contacts and provides opportunities for personal development.

The positive impacts appear when spending time in nature. Everyone can implement nature-based activities and methods. Nature and rural environments offer many opportunities for tourism services and businesses year round. In addition, activities and services can be developed, implemented and certified purposely to maintain and improve human well-being and quality of life. These are called Green Care services

Read more about the conceptual framework and the different approaches in the  publication Green Care: A Conceptual Framework.

Here you can see the basic elements of Finnish Green Care working methods and preconditions.

Task: Think of an existing nature-based tourism product/service that you have used. Ponder how the preconditions (goal-orientation, professionalism, responsibility) and the basic elements (nature, action, community) were met or could be fulfilled.

Sources and further reading:

Green Care Finland 2021. Green Care in Finland. http://www.gcfinland.fi/in-english/ 

Hirvonen, K. & Skyttä, T. 2014. Luontolähtöiset hyvinvointipalvelut. Opas asiakastyöhön ja palveluiden kehittämiseen. Mikkeli: Mikkelin ammattikorkeakoulu. https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-588-430-5.

Kuusisto, K. 2018. Luonnon terveys- ja hyvinvointivaikutukset Pallas-Yllästunturin kävijöiden kokemina. Matkailualan tutkimus- ja koulutusinstituutti. http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:ula-201811231477.

Luke and THL 2017. Green Care. Quality Manual. The Natural Resources Institute Finland and the National Institute on Health and Welfare. https://www.gcfinland.fi/in-english/green-care-quality-manual/.

MTT, THL & Lapin AMK 2014. Green Care –työkirjaMaa- ja elintarviketalouden tutkimuskeskus, Terveyden ja hyvinvoinnin laitos sekä Lapin ammattikorkeakoulu.  www.mtt/greencare 

Semplik, J., Hine, R. & Wilcox, D. 2010. Green Care: A Conceptual Framework. http://www.umb.no/statisk/greencare/green_carea_conceptual_framework.pdf. 

Tyrväinen, L., Sievänen, T., Tuulentie, S. & Kurttila, M. (eds.) 2014. Hyvinvointia metsästä. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura: Helsinki.  

Ylilauri, M. & Voutilainen, O. 2021. Review of Nordic nature-based Service Models – Study on the opportunities and challenges of the nature-based services in Finland, Sweden and Norway. University of Vaasa reports 23. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-476-950-1.

Yli-Viikari, A. & Vehmasto, E. 2014. Luonto hyvinvoinnin lähteenä – suomalainen Green  Care. https://portal.mtt.fi/portal/page/portal/mtt/hankkeet/greencare/voimaa/greencare.pdf.

Back to: NATURE-BASED TOURISM IN PROTECTED AREAS > Opportunities of Nature-based Tourism