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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

203. Brainy Health Benefits of Nature, with Dr. Jay Maddock

While I was recently in College Station visiting the Human Behavior Lab, I had the joy of meeting Dr. Maddock when he came by to chat with us for a bit. I hadn’t met him before, but in learning about his work and research it was clear that we had to do an interview. Thankfully, I had my equipment with me and he had some spare time to talk about some of the incredibly cool stuff he and his team are doing. 

Dr. Maddock is a professor in the department of environmental and occupational health at the school of public health at Texas A&M University and is also the co-director of the Center for Health and Nature. He serves on the Brazos County Board of Health. Not to mention he is editor in chief of the Journal of Healthy Eating and Active Living. He has authored more than 130 scientific articles which have been cited more than 5000 times, plus his research has been featured on/in The Today Show, BBC, CNN, Eating Well, Prevention and Good Housekeeping and he has given lectures around the world. This isn’t even all of his bio, but I wanted to let you know a little bit about this awesomeness before you hear about the cool stuff he is doing. Listen in to hear all about the connection between nature and our health. It is really amazing!

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IN A RUSH?

HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [01:16] Dr. Maddock is a professor in the department of environmental and occupational health at the School of Public Health at Texas A&M University and is also the co-director of the Center for Health and Nature.

  • [03:47] Jay shares about his background and what he does.

  • [05:16] They are really looking at how natural environments change health. Spending time in nature really changes your health.

  • [05:59] They are now trying to understand what is the perfect dose of nature and how they can use some of the models to get more people into nature.

  • [07:46] Virtual reality lets us break the senses up. They can do a study experimenting with only one sense. 

  • [08:40] They are trying to figure out the essential pieces of nature that we need for healthy benefits.

  • [09:47] People like different types of nature. 

  • [10:49] The more that we feel we are in the environment, the more effect it has on our physiology. 

  • [11:29] There are so many questions we can answer in virtual reality that would be difficult to do in person.  

  • [12:48] Making environments immersive and interesting is important for people. Being in real nature is always best for us, but since that isn’t always possible, it will be great to have other options. 

  • [14:49] How we can integrate nature into our surrounding and environment is important. 

  • [15:55] They have been looking at the effect of travel and nature. So many times when we go on vacation we want to go to some beautiful natural spot, but we also have an effect on the environment. 

  • [17:34] The ability to virtually tour places that are untouched would be really cool. 

  • [18:11] The biggest thing with health and nature is it doesn’t work without conservation. 

  • [18:45] One of the other things they have been working on is looking at some of the behavioral theories that we use and how we adopt these to increase people’s time in nature. 

  • [21:27] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 

  • [23:53] If you enjoy the experience I’ve provided here for you, will you share about it? That could mean leaving a rating/review or sharing the episode with a friend (or 10!)

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