Next Article in Journal
Self-Learning Methodology in Simulated Environments (MAES©) as a Learning Tool in Perioperative Nursing. An Evidence-Based Practice Model for Acquiring Clinical Safety Competencies
Previous Article in Journal
Socioeconomic Status, Mental Health, and Workplace Determinants among Working Adults in Hong Kong: A Latent Class Analysis
Previous Article in Special Issue
Nature-Based Interventions and Mind–Body Interventions: Saving Public Health Costs Whilst Increasing Life Satisfaction and Happiness
Article

How Does Being Solo in Nature Affect Well-Being? Evidence from Norway, Germany and New Zealand

1
Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Outdoor Life, University of South-Eastern Norway, 3800 Bø i Telemark, Norway
2
Department of Human Movement Science, University of Hamburg, 20148 Hamburg, Germany
3
School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giovanna Calogiuri, Jo Barton, Børge Baklien, Christopher J. Gidlow, Tadhg Macintyre and Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7897; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157897
Received: 30 May 2021 / Revised: 3 July 2021 / Accepted: 19 July 2021 / Published: 26 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Green Exercise and Health Promotion)
Background: Solo—being intentionally solitary in nature—is receiving growing attention as a valuable outdoor education program component. Its practice and history have been researched in the context of experiential learning, but few studies have explicitly examined how solo experiences can affect dimensions of well-being. This study investigated a broad range of well-being pathways provided by being solo, based on data from Norway, Germany, and New Zealand. Methods: Using qualitative content analysis (QCA), the solo debrief responses of 40 participants (26 females, age: 19–64 years) were analysed, applying the PERMA-V framework (emotions, engagement, relationship, meaning, achievement, and vitality). Variations in the reports were explored as a function of the national sample, gender, age, prior solo experiences and expectations. Results: The study suggests that hedonic and eudemonic well-being pathways, represented by the six PERMA-V pillars, interrelate strongly. The experience of a range of positive emotions and connecting process during solo highlights two of the most frequent findings related to well-being pathways. The secondary findings suggest minor variations in the well-being pathways for the different national samples, gender and age. Expectations and prior experiences with solo were identified as context factors with minor impact. Further, the data-driven analysis identified specific physical activities, landscape features, sense-activation, perception of time and ‘good’ weather as relevant to the specific experience. Conclusions: Solo experiences provide for well-being-related pathways in a multitude of ways, which highlights the well-being potential of solo implementation across practical fields beyond outdoor education, such as wilderness therapy, and environmental and planetary health initiatives. Future studies should continue to explore solo’s well-being potential in different settings, especially in the context of non-Western samples. View Full-Text
Keywords: wilderness solo; being in nature; solitude; emotions; well-being; culture; green exercise; nature connectedness; flourishing; PERMA-V wilderness solo; being in nature; solitude; emotions; well-being; culture; green exercise; nature connectedness; flourishing; PERMA-V
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Petersen, E.; Bischoff, A.; Liedtke, G.; Martin, A.J. How Does Being Solo in Nature Affect Well-Being? Evidence from Norway, Germany and New Zealand. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 7897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157897

AMA Style

Petersen E, Bischoff A, Liedtke G, Martin AJ. How Does Being Solo in Nature Affect Well-Being? Evidence from Norway, Germany and New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(15):7897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157897

Chicago/Turabian Style

Petersen, Evi, Annette Bischoff, Gunnar Liedtke, and Andrew J. Martin 2021. "How Does Being Solo in Nature Affect Well-Being? Evidence from Norway, Germany and New Zealand" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 15: 7897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157897

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop