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There are really many physical and psychological benefits deriving from contact with nature. In fact, Forest Bathing does not only help us to counteract stress, but also for more serious ailments such as depression. It is also an activity that can really be carried out by everyone, young and old, disabled and able-bodied. Everyone can benefit and benefit from taking care of plants and being in contact with Nature. Doing chores like these helps social inclusion and relationships between people. The interested parties carry out tasks such as sowing, harvesting fruits and flowers, that is to say all those activities that stimulate the sense of smell, sight, touch or hearing and increase skills and competences.

Having your hands occupied in the earth, in the practice of caring for flowers and plants, in establishing a connection, leads to warding off negative thoughts, to relax the mind and body and to take responsibility towards the living beings that are cultivated. In addition, it develops patience in waiting for the right moments and suited to the various stages of growth to have the product harvested or simply to enjoy the beauty of a flower or a plant. The benefits, such as self-esteem and self-confidence for the skills acquired and the choices made, are paid off by the plant itself which will grow healthy and strong.

In fact, when the effects of outdoor sports on people with disabilities are observed, the range of benefits widens. To thecardiovascular well-being, improved mood and stress management are added the acquisition of greater self-esteem and autonomy, the improvement of balance, posture and coordination.


Furthermore, through sport,the disabled person learns to accept their limits better, consequently developing interpersonal skills and the ability to deal with new situations. Not only that, when we speak in particular of intellectual disability, sport is a fundamental part in the acquisition of the ability to orient oneself in space, the maintenance of acquired skills and the management of aggression. Therefore allowing disabled people to live in close contact with the natural environment generates greater self-esteem, allowing these people to feel less socially marginalized and in some way of public utility.

Being a therapeutic and rehabilitative method, it brings numerous benefits from a physical, social and psychological point of view to the person with disabilities, not only individually but also relationally. The benefits affect several areas. Among these:

  • the Physical Sphere for what concerns sowing, dedicating oneself to the care of plants and harvesting fruits stimulate movement, eye-hand coordination and help in the dosage of strength; in this way the person with disabilities has a greater opportunity to develop their psychomotor skills by performing motor activities.

  • The Cognitive Sphere, therefore having to remember the name of some plants, learning notions about sowing or the use of manual work tools increase the learning ability as well as stimulate memory, concentration, attention, the ability to perform a task in the right sequence and logical skills.

  • The Emotional Sphere, or contact with the earth and with nature, reduces stress, aggressive behaviors, mental fatigue as well as fighting depression.

  • The Affective Sphere: the green and the open air instill a sense of relaxation and stillness, leading to a reduction in anxiety. Furthermore, by establishing contact with the earth and nature in a green space, there is a strengthening of self-esteem and confidence since from his commitment to growing a plant or cultivating a land he subsequently derives satisfaction in seeing the results of his actions.

  • Socialization: disabled people often feel loneliness and isolation; they can suffer from depression, low self-esteem and low self-confidence especially when living in a limited environment such as an institution. Contact with the earth stimulates affective capacities (the patient takes care of the plants), helps to improve autonomy and facilitates socialization and social relations . 

  • The perception of oneself, in fact the knowledge of notions related to the world of nature and the skills learned during the activities, lead the disabled person to recognize their abilities and to develop or strengthen a positive perception of themselves as a capable person; she therefore finds again the skills and competences that lead her to distance herself from the idea of herself as a person with only a deficit.


L'orthotherapytherefore it can be considered a rehabilitation tool able to improve psychophysical well-being and, thanks to direct contact with nature, give a voice to the person helping him to "fight" disability in its most varied forms, from the mildest to the most disabling.

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