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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020290

The Role of Anthropogenic Elements in the Environment for Affective States and Cortisol Concentration in Mountain Hiking—A Crossover Trial

1
Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, Fürstenweg 185, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2
Institute of Ecomedicine, Paracelsus Medical University, Strubergasse 21, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Physical Activity and Public Health)
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Abstract

Green exercise might have positive effects on health and affective states. Little is known about the ideal characteristics of the natural environment, where exercise is conducted in. Thus, the primary aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of anthropogenic elements on acute stress-related physiological responses and affective states in green exercise. Using a crossover field study design, 52 healthy participants were exposed to two different mountain hiking conditions: An environment with less anthropogenic elements and an environment with more anthropogenic elements. Pre and post conditions, affective states and salivary cortisol concentration were measured. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to analyze if pre-post changes differed between the conditions. Pre-post changes in affective states and salivary cortisol concentration did not significantly differ, partial η² < 0.06. Positive affective states showed significantly higher values post compared to pre-condition, partial η² > 0.13. The present results indicate that anthropogenic elements have a minor role in the influence on affective states and salivary cortisol concentration during mountain hiking. It is concluded that a single bout of mountain hiking independent of anthropogenic elements in the environment is effective in influencing affective states positively. View Full-Text
Keywords: green exercise; cortisol; allostatic load; nature relatedness; anthropogenic elements; stress green exercise; cortisol; allostatic load; nature relatedness; anthropogenic elements; stress
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Niedermeier, M.; Grafetstätter, C.; Kopp, M.; Huber, D.; Mayr, M.; Pichler, C.; Hartl, A. The Role of Anthropogenic Elements in the Environment for Affective States and Cortisol Concentration in Mountain Hiking—A Crossover Trial. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 290.

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