Well-being for city residents by increasing the diversity of yards

Exposure to nature, i.e. walking in the forest or nature, has been scientifically proven to strengthen the human defense system, help recover from stress, and improve mood when everyday worries are forgotten. Urbanization and biodiversity loss have brought with them new diseases and a weakening of natural resistance. 

With urbanization, serious disorders of the immune system, such as various allergies, asthma, and type 1 diabetes, have increased. The main reasons for this are the increase in the level of hygiene and the narrowing of biological diversity of the environment. This has reduced the exposure to natural microbes that promote the natural development of the immune system. 

Previous studies suggest that everyday exposure to the diverse nature’s microbial community is linked to good health and well-being. 

What is studied and why

In this research, the aim is to increase the biological diversity of city residents’ backyards in accordance with the latest research data to promote health and well-being. The purpose of the research is to find out whether the versatile exposure to nature obtained from the backyard can influence perceived well-being, the concentration of the stress hormone, or cortisol, and the body’s immune system and microbial community. 

The research tests how adding biodiversity to the yard affects its microbiome, the human body and perceived well-being. The purpose of the research is also to find out the environmental factors which affect the microbiome and well-being, with the help of vegetation mapping and satellite data. 

Individuals who are 18-72 years old and living in the Helsinki, Lahti and Kaarina areas of ​​detached houses or townhouses were selected and the research is now underway. We thank everyone who registered! 

A new housing unit research is coming soon 

We will start the housing unit research during the winter of 2022-2023 and now look for suitable sites. We will update more information on this page as soon as registration for this study is possible. 

If you are already interested and would like more information, contact Dr. Marja Roslund by email at marja.roslund@luke.fi, phone +358 50 478 6591.