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Improving Health and Wellness by Getting Outside

Improving Health and Wellness by Getting Outside

About This Webinar:

Biophilia is a hypothesis that humans have an innate desire and need to connect with nature. Decades of research confirm that people experience myriad health and wellness benefits when they spend time interacting with nature—from increased physical activity to improved emotional wellbeing. But the amount of time we Americans spend outside has been declining over the years. Join this webinar where we highlight some of the latest health and nature research and make the case for why we need to get back into the great outdoors regularly. We will wrap up by describing some practical programs and initiatives that help connect individuals, children, and communities to nature.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify health and wellness benefits to spending time in nature.
  • Discuss enablers and barriers to regularly connecting with nature.
  • Explore programs that help individuals, families, and communities to get outside.


Debra Kellstedt, DrPH

Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist
Family & Community Health
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Dr. Debra Kellstedt, DrPH, is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Unit as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Texas A&M School of Public Health and a Faculty Fellow at the Texas A&M Center for Health & Nature. With her training and experience grounded in public health, Dr. Kellstedt’s research has focused on evaluating multilevel community-based approaches aimed at improving health behaviors in a variety of settings and among different populations. Dr. Kellstedt’s current interests include exploring how community system social structure impacts population health specific to chronic disease prevention outcomes. Her programming focuses on environmental approaches to promote physical activity and initiatives to connect communities to nature.


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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension (funding opportunity no. USDA-NIFA-OP-010186), grant no. 2023-41595-41325 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Extension Foundation. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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