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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Nature-Based Stress Management Course for Individuals at Risk of Adverse Health Effects from Work-Related Stress : Effects on Stress Related Symptoms, Workability and Sick Leave

Sahlin, Eva; Ahlborg Jr., Gunnar; Vega-Matuszczyk, Josefa; Grahn, Patrik


Sick leave due to stress-related disorders is increasing in Sweden after a period of decrease. To avoid that individuals living under heavy stress develop more severe stress-related disorders, different stress management interventions are offered. Self-assessed health, burnout-scores and well-being are commonly used as outcome measures. Few studies have used sick-leave to compare effects of stress interventions. A new approach is to use nature and garden in a multimodal stress management context. This study aimed to explore effects on burnout, work ability, stress-related health symptoms, and sick leave for 33 women participating in a 12-weeks nature based stress management course and to investigate how the nature/garden activities were experienced. A mixed method approach was used. Measures were taken at course start and three follow-ups. Results showed decreased burnout-scores and long-term sick leaves, and increased work ability; furthermore less stress-related symptoms were reported. Tools and strategies to better handle stress were achieved and were widely at use at all follow-ups. The garden and nature content played an important role for stress relief and for tools and strategies to develop. The results from this study points to beneficial effects of using garden activities and natural environments in a stress management intervention.


nature-based therapy; garden activities; sleep quality; burnout; exhaustion disorder

Published in

International journal of environmental research and public health
2014, Volume: 11, number: 6, pages: 6586-6611
Publisher: MDPI AG

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG5 Gender equality
      SDG3 Good health and well-being
      SDG8 Decent work and economic growth

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
      Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
      Landscape Architecture

      Publication identifier


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