Posted on Feb 21, 2011, 6 a.m.
People who engage in physical activities in the outdoor setting experience mental and emotional revitalization with reduced feelings of tension, confusion, anger and depression.
Revitalizing one’s mental and emotional health may be just a few footsteps away. Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (United Kingdom) researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 11 clinical studies involving 833 adult subjects, each of which assessed the effects of outdoor exercise initiatives against indoor activities and reported at least one physical or mental well-being outcome. The team found that most of studies involving outdoor-located activities correlated to improvements in mental well-being: compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Participants also reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and stated that they were more likely to repeat the activity at a later date. The team observes that: “[These findings add] significant weight to the case for spending more time in the natural environment as members of the public and their clinicians fight to counteract the negative outcomes of modern living, such as obesity and depression.”
J. Thompson Coon, K. Boddy, K. Stein, R. Whear, J. Barton, M. H. Depledge. “Does Participating in Physical Activity in Outdoor Natural Environments Have a Greater Effect on Physical and Mental Wellbeing than Physical Activity Indoors? A Systematic Review.” Environ. Sci. Technol., February 3, 2011; DOI: 10.1021/es102947t.