Accessibility navigation

Access to nature fosters well-being in solitude

Samangooei, M., Saull, R. and Weinstein, N. ORCID: (2023) Access to nature fosters well-being in solitude. Sustainability, 15 (6). 5482. ISSN 2071-1050

Text (Open Access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.

[img] Text - Accepted Version
· Restricted to Repository staff only


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/su15065482


There has been growing interest in the ways that individuals connected with nature during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when they were alone in solitude. This study ex-plored key themes describing individuals’ relationships with nature during this period and, more specifically, when individuals were relating to nature during time spent alone. Sixty par-ticipants (aged 19–80 years) discussed solitude during in-depth interviews. Participants were from different backgrounds and 20 different countries of origin. Thematic analysis was con-ducted by two architects (who may have been sensitive to the functional interaction of spaces in connecting people and nature) and identified descriptions of nature from broader narratives of solitude and time spent alone. Extracts from interview transcripts were coded using hierarchical thematic analysis and a pragmatist approach. The results showed that natural spaces were inte-gral to experiencing positive solitude and increased the chance that solitude time could be used for rest, rejuvenation, stress relief, and reflective thought. Being in their local natural spaces also allowed participants to more spontaneously shift from solitude to social connection, supporting a sense of balance between these two states of being. Finally, solitude in nature, in part because of attention to shifting weather, gave a new perspective. As a result, participants reported increased species solidarity—the awareness that humans are part of an ecosystem shared with other spe-cies. We interpret the results in terms of the implications for built environments and the im-portance of accessing nature for well-being.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:111311


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation