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Affective Outcomes of Group versus Lone Green Exercise Participation
Open AccessArticle

Regular Doses of Nature: The Efficacy of Green Exercise Interventions for Mental Wellbeing

1
School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ, UK
2
School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, 115 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6UW, UK
3
School of Life Sciences, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ, UK
4
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051526
Received: 1 February 2020 / Revised: 14 February 2020 / Accepted: 16 February 2020 / Published: 27 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Green Exercise and Health Promotion)
This study investigated the efficacy of medium-term Green Exercise (GE; being physically active within a natural environment) interventions for improving wellbeing, by pooling data collected at the start and end of participants’ engagement with a range of GE interventions. Hypotheses were that (i) interventions would show good efficacy for improving wellbeing in the overall sample; (ii) compared to participants reporting ‘average to high’ wellbeing at the start of their project, participants with ‘low’ starting wellbeing would report greater improvements post-intervention; and (iii) improvements would significantly differ between age groups. The pooled dataset was categorized in line with UK norms (n = 318) and analyzed using a standardized meta-analysis approach. Effect size was large: g = 0.812 (95% CI [0.599, 1.025]), and differences in wellbeing changes associated with project duration, age or sex were not statistically significant. Compared to those reporting ‘average-high’ starting wellbeing, participants reporting ‘low’ starting wellbeing exhibited greater improvements (BCa 95% CI [−31.8, −26.5]), with 60.8% moving into the ‘average-high’ wellbeing category. GE can play an important role in facilitating wellbeing and can provide alternative pathways for health and social care practice. Public health commissioners should consider integrating such interventions for patients experiencing low wellbeing or associated comorbidities. View Full-Text
Keywords: green exercise; mental wellbeing; interventions; health; environment; interventions green exercise; mental wellbeing; interventions; health; environment; interventions
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Rogerson, M.; Wood, C.; Pretty, J.; Schoenmakers, P.; Bloomfield, D.; Barton, J. Regular Doses of Nature: The Efficacy of Green Exercise Interventions for Mental Wellbeing. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1526.

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