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Article

Nature Relatedness of Recreational Horseback Riders and Its Association with Mood and Wellbeing

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Department of General Practice and Family Medicine, Center for Public Health, Medical University Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15/1, 1090 Vienna, Austria
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Health Sciences, University of Applied Sciences FH Campus Wien, Favoritenstrasse 226, 1100 Vienna, Austria
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Institute for Management & Economics in Health Care, UMIT, 6060 Hall i.T., Austria
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Faculty of Business, University Seeburg Castle, Seeburgstraße 8, 5201 Seekirchen/Wallersee, Austria
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Department of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15/1, 1090 Vienna, Austria
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114136
Received: 17 April 2020 / Revised: 27 May 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published: 10 June 2020
Connectedness to nature and nature contact can provide many benefits to humans, like stress reduction, recovery from illness, and increased positive emotions. Likewise, recreational horseback riding is a widespread sports activity with the potential to enhance physical and psychological health. Yet, the influence of connectedness to nature on the wellbeing of older aged recreational horseback riders has not been investigated so far. The aim of the present study therefore was to explore the relationship between nature relatedness and physical, psychological and social wellbeing and happiness. The study sample was composed of Austrian recreational horseback riders aged 45 years and older, who were compared with dog owners and people without pets (n = 178). We found significantly higher nature relatedness, significantly higher overall wellbeing and a significantly better mood rating in recreational horseback riders compared to people without pets and similar scores compared to dog owners. Physical wellbeing is correlated with overall nature relatedness in horseback riders and dog owners, but no correlation was found in people without pets. A structural equation model shows a direct relationship between nature relatedness and mood in horseback riders and an indirect relationship through pet attachment in dog owners. The results suggest the activity with horses and dogs in nature environments is a source of wellbeing, enjoyment, self-confidence and social contacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature relatedness; recreational horseback riding; dog walking; subjective wellbeing; mood nature relatedness; recreational horseback riding; dog walking; subjective wellbeing; mood
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schwarzmüller-Erber, G.; Stummer, H.; Maier, M.; Kundi, M. Nature Relatedness of Recreational Horseback Riders and Its Association with Mood and Wellbeing. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4136. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114136

AMA Style

Schwarzmüller-Erber G, Stummer H, Maier M, Kundi M. Nature Relatedness of Recreational Horseback Riders and Its Association with Mood and Wellbeing. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(11):4136. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114136

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schwarzmüller-Erber, Gabriele, Harald Stummer, Manfred Maier, and Michael Kundi. 2020. "Nature Relatedness of Recreational Horseback Riders and Its Association with Mood and Wellbeing" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 11: 4136. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114136

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