Nature as a source of health and well-being for people with disabilities


Nature gives us sensations of pleasure and well-being that can not only be appreciated subjectively, but also have a logical evolutionary origin and translate into tangible benefits for people’s physical, mental and emotional health. There is abundant scientific evidence that proves the existence and even quantifies these benefits. Little by little it has been translated into a therapeutic practice based on contact with the natural environment, including, of course, animals as facilitators of this contact. In some countries the so-called “green prescription” is already prescribed, which with different names, becomes the need to link (again) with nature in different ways. For healthy or non-disabled people, the well-being it provides is already appreciable, but it is even more so for those who have health problems or have a disability. This latter group also has intrinsic and extrinsic difficulties in accessing nature, so its potential benefit is dismissed even enjoying it, constituting a barrier that prevents its improvement and, ultimately, limiting its inclusion in other activities. The difficulties of acces that these people have to nature and how this supposes a double bias of discrimination and exclusion that must be resolved will also be reviewed.