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Benefits of Outdoor Sports for Society. A Systematic Literature Review and Reflections on Evidence

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TUM Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University Munich, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60/62, 80992 München, Germany
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Sport Northern Ireland, c/o Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, 32 Hilltown Road, Bryansford, Newcastle BT33 0PZ, UK
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Sport Industry Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S10 2BP, UK
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Universitetet i Stavanger, Kjell Arholms gate 41, 4021 Stavanger, Norway
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National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Barcelona (UB), Av. Estadi 12-22, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060937
Received: 9 February 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Sport Activity on Health Promotion)
The combination of physical activity and being in nature is recognized as providing a range of significant benefits. The objective of this literature review was to compile an overview of the social benefits and costs associated with outdoor sports within the academic literature and to reflect on the quality of underlying evidence that supports the relationship. A systematic review was carried out with seven partners from different European countries, including Bulgaria, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. From a total of 17,560 studies identified, 133 studies were selected with relevant data extracted to standardized forms. The selected studies have been analyzed with qualitative research methods. A meta-analysis could not be conducted due to the heterogeneity of the study designs and outcome measures. As a result, the review gives an overview of the social impacts associated with outdoor sports which have been clustered to six broad categories: physical health, mental health and wellbeing, education and lifelong learning, active citizenship, crime reduction, and anti-social behavior, as well as additional benefits. The review furthermore revealed gaps in the evidence base which are especially notable in the long-term effects that outdoor sports can have on personal and social development. View Full-Text
Keywords: outdoor sports; outdoor recreation; health enhancing physical activity; social benefits and costs or social impacts; outdoor education outdoor sports; outdoor recreation; health enhancing physical activity; social benefits and costs or social impacts; outdoor education
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MDPI and ACS Style

Eigenschenk, B.; Thomann, A.; McClure, M.; Davies, L.; Gregory, M.; Dettweiler, U.; Inglés, E. Benefits of Outdoor Sports for Society. A Systematic Literature Review and Reflections on Evidence. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 937.

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