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1.
Front Public Health ; 10: 1057020, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2232286

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated uncertainties and restrictions have adverse impacts on university students' mental wellbeing. Evidence shows that virtual nature contact has mental health benefits. However, little is known about the potential beneficial health impacts of virtual nature contact during times of social distancing, when access to the natural environment is restricted. This pilot study aimed to examine the effectiveness of a 3-week virtual nature contact in improving nature connectedness and reducing psychophysiological stress. A sample of 56 university students in Hong Kong was randomly assigned to control and nature interventions using 2-D video played for 15 min three times a week for 3 weeks. Nature connectedness, perceived restorativeness and psycho-physiological wellbeing were measured. Our findings show significant changes in psychological stress levels after nature interventions compared with the baseline, including increased happiness and stronger emotions of comfort and relaxation. When compared with the control group, the results show the nature intervention group has significantly higher levels of nature connectedness, happiness, and positive affect, but no significant effects on other psychological and physiological variables (e.g., cardiovascular responses). Our preliminary findings highlight the potential use of virtual nature contacts in bolstering university students' wellbeing at times of pandemic or when in-person visit to the natural environment is not feasible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Students , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Universities
2.
Frontiers in public health ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2218765

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated uncertainties and restrictions have adverse impacts on university students' mental wellbeing. Evidence shows that virtual nature contact has mental health benefits. However, little is known about the potential beneficial health impacts of virtual nature contact during times of social distancing, when access to the natural environment is restricted. This pilot study aimed to examine the effectiveness of a 3-week virtual nature contact in improving nature connectedness and reducing psychophysiological stress. A sample of 56 university students in Hong Kong was randomly assigned to control and nature interventions using 2-D video played for 15 min three times a week for 3 weeks. Nature connectedness, perceived restorativeness and psycho-physiological wellbeing were measured. Our findings show significant changes in psychological stress levels after nature interventions compared with the baseline, including increased happiness and stronger emotions of comfort and relaxation. When compared with the control group, the results show the nature intervention group has significantly higher levels of nature connectedness, happiness, and positive affect, but no significant effects on other psychological and physiological variables (e.g., cardiovascular responses). Our preliminary findings highlight the potential use of virtual nature contacts in bolstering university students' wellbeing at times of pandemic or when in-person visit to the natural environment is not feasible.

3.
Childs Nerv Syst ; 38(9): 1727-1734, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1888856

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To evaluate change in the severity of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and associated morbidities between pre- and during COVID-19 pandemic periods in Canada. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study extracting the data from level-3 NICUs participating in Canadian Neonatal Network (CNN). The primary outcome was a composite of death in the first week after birth and/or stage 3 HIE (Sarnat and Sarnat). Secondary outcomes included rate and severity of HIE among admitted neonates, overall mortality, brain injury on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), neonates requiring resuscitation, organ dysfunction, and therapeutic hypothermia (TH) usage. We included 1591 neonates with gestational age ≥ 36 weeks with HIE during the specified periods: pandemic cohort from April 1st to December 31st of 2020; pre-pandemic cohort between April 1st and December 31st of 2017, 2018, and 2019. We calculated the odds ratio (OR) and confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: We observed no significant difference in the primary outcome (15% vs. 16%; OR 1.08; 95%CI 0.78-1.48), mortality in the first week after birth (6% vs. 6%; OR 1.10, 95%CI 0.69-1.75), neonates requiring resuscitation, organ dysfunction, TH usage, or rate of brain injury. In the ad hoc analysis, per 1000 live births, there was an increase in the rate of infants with HIE and TH use. CONCLUSIONS: Severity of HIE, associated morbidities, and mortality were not significantly different during the pandemic lockdown compared to a pre-pandemic period in Canada. Anticipated risks and difficulties in accessing healthcare have not increased the mortality and morbidities in neonates with HIE in Canada.


Subject(s)
Brain Injuries , COVID-19 , Hypothermia, Induced , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain , Brain Injuries/complications , Canada/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/epidemiology , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/pathology , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/therapy , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Multiple Organ Failure/complications , Multiple Organ Failure/therapy , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
4.
Sci Total Environ ; 811: 152357, 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569040

ABSTRACT

Majority of industries, in order to meet the technological development and consumer demands generate waste. The untreated waste spreads out toxic and harmful substances in the environment which serves as a breeding ground for pathogenic microorganisms thus causing severe health hazards. The three industrial sectors namely food, agriculture, and oil industry are among the primary organic waste producers that affect urban health and economic growth. Conventional treatment generates a significant amount of greenhouse gases which further contributes to global warming. Thus, the use of microbes for utilization of this waste, liberating CO2 offers an indispensable tool. The simultaneous production of value-added products such as bioplastics, biofuels, and biosurfactants increases the economics of the process and contributes to environmental sustainability. This review comprehensively summarized the composition of organic waste generated from the food, agriculture, and oil industry. The linkages between global health hazards of industrial waste and environmental implications have been uncovered. Stare-of-the-art information on their subsequent utilization as a substrate to produce value-added products through bio-routes has been elaborated. The research gaps, economical perspective(s), and future research directions have been identified and discussed to strengthen environmental sustainability.


Subject(s)
Greenhouse Gases , Industrial Waste , Agriculture , Biofuels , Global Health , Industrial Waste/analysis
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