Special Issue "Health and Wellbeing in an Outdoor and Adventure Sports Context"

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Eric Brymer

Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS6 3QS, United Kingdom
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Interests: nature benefit health and wellbeing, adventure sports, outdoor sports
Guest Editor
Dr. Michelle Dillon

Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS6 3QS, United Kingdom
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Interests: sport pedagogy, outdoor education, adventure education
Guest Editor
Dr. Suzanne Peacock

Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS6 3QS, United Kingdom
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Interests: sport and adventure for recovery, psychology for physical educators, adapted adventure
Guest Editor
Dr. Ashley Hardwell

Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS6 3QS, United Kingdom
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Interests: leisure sport, alternative sport
Guest Editor
Dr. John Allan

Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS6 3QS, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: psychology for the physical educator, outdoor & adventurous, outdoor education
Guest Editor
Dr. Chris Kay

Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS6 3QS, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: outdoor education, physical, mental, social well being, sports
Guest Editor
Dr. Melissa Hart

Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds LS6 3QS, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: outdoor education, expeditions, experiential learning, geography, cartography and navigation, foucault and education, postmodern qualitative approaches to research, academy schools and the privatisation of education, policy making discourses in schools

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The World Health organisation defines health as a "state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."  While in general health is improving globally there are still challenges. For example, in 2010 mental illness and substance abuse combined were the leading cause of non-fatal illness worldwide and the fifth leading cause of death and disease worldwide. In September 2015 the United Nations recognised mental health and wellbeing as priorities within the global development agenda. The natural environment has been presented as an important aspect of the global health improvement plan. For instance, in  2018 the UK government published their 25 year environment plan which emphasises the importance of being active in nature. The last two decades have been witness to a plethora of research from a vast array of fields, such as public health, ecology, geography, forestry, psychology, education, sport science and psychiatry suggesting that physical activity in the presence of nature and feeling part of nature enhance health and wellbeing.

Traditional theoretical notions typically used to interpret findings are being questioned (Brymer, Davids, & Mallabon, 2014; Karmanov & Hamel, 2008; Keniger, Gaston, Irvine, & Fuller, 2013; Kjellgren & Buhrkall; Yeh et al., 2016). Research is beginning to consider the importance of individual differences, such as feelings of connection to nature, and the person-environment relationship (Freeman, Akhurst, Bannigan & James, 2016; Freeman & Akhurst, 2015). For the most part research undertaken in these fields has focused on traditional activities such as walking and running undertaken in outdoor environments. Outdoor and adventure activities (from forest school to extreme sports and more) are potentially ideal examples of physical activity in nature and perhaps best placed to reconnect people to the natural world.

The term 'sport' is often viewed as synonymous with structured competition. However, from an etymological perspective, the English word 'sport', derived from old French word 'desport', originally refers to a 'pastime'. For this special edition we adopt the broad definition including the dimensions of self-development and recreation. Specifically, sports are considered to be multi-faceted, boundary-crossing activities, which do not necessarily involve structured competitive activity, regulated performance environments, rules or institutions. This special edition brings together cutting edge research and thought examining the role of outdoor and adventure activities for enhancing mental health and psychological wellbeing.

Dr. Eric Brymer
Dr. Michelle Dillon
Dr. Suzanne Peacock
Dr. Ashley Hardwell
Dr. John Allan
Dr. Chris Kay
Dr. Melissa Hart
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sports is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • extreme sports
  • outdoor and adventure activities
  • physical
  • mental
  • social wellbeing
  • mental health
  • psychological wellbeing

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Outdoor Adventure Builds Resilient Learners for Higher Education: A Quantitative Analysis of the Active Components of Positive Change
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 21 May 2019
PDF Full-text (384 KB)
Abstract
The inability of young adults to adapt to university life has been attributed to their declining resilience. Resilience refers to any individuals’ capacity to change or modify behaviour in response to environmental hazards, so they thrive. Outdoor Adventure (OA) residential programmes have helped [...] Read more.
The inability of young adults to adapt to university life has been attributed to their declining resilience. Resilience refers to any individuals’ capacity to change or modify behaviour in response to environmental hazards, so they thrive. Outdoor Adventure (OA) residential programmes have helped higher education inductees to acquire skills associated with resilience such as increased self-perception, better interpersonal relationships. However, this study addresses important gaps in existing literature by deploying a high-quality research design to examine the short-term impact of OA experiences on inductees’ resilience and to identify the active components of those experiences that best cultivate inductees’ adaptive capabilities. Multivariate analyses evaluated the efficacy of OA programming to build the resilience of over 2500 inductees. Significant positive gains were reported in the resilience of inductees attending 1-week residential OA programmes measured by an Effect size (ES) = 0.38 and 6.29% increase. Compared to students inducted at university, this represented an 8.35% greater increase in resilience (ES difference = –0.526). Camp-based experiences such as mastering new skills, developing new relationships and being female predicted heightened resilience. A defined blend of embodied, adventure-based meaningful challenges provides a template for helping university inductees to re-adjust, grow and persevere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in an Outdoor and Adventure Sports Context)
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of an Outdoor and Adventure Sports Course on the Wellbeing of Recovering UK Military Personnel: An Exploratory Study
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
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Abstract
UK military personnel have faced increased demands over the last three decades; these have affected their wellbeing and caused multiple physical and mental health problems. Currently, bespoke rehabilitation systems may recommend participation in sports programmes. Although research attention has been drawn to the [...] Read more.
UK military personnel have faced increased demands over the last three decades; these have affected their wellbeing and caused multiple physical and mental health problems. Currently, bespoke rehabilitation systems may recommend participation in sports programmes. Although research attention has been drawn to the short-term positive effects of these programmes, their long-term impact on psychological wellbeing is unknown. To address this gap, the current study explored the long-term impact of a sports programme on UK military personnel’s ability to make changes in their day-to-day life through the lens of psychological wellbeing. For this purpose, UK military personnel (n = 97) completed an online survey aiming to provide a quantitative and qualitative picture of their experiences of an outdoor and adventure sports programme, underpinned by the basic psychological needs theory, six months following completion. Findings suggest that 75% of respondents found that the course was useful for facilitating adaptive changes. Content analysis suggests that elements of the course seem to satisfy their basic psychological needs of competence, relatedness and autonomy. Activities initiated six months after the course are mostly aligned with improved psychological wellbeing. Useful theoretical and applied implications are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in an Outdoor and Adventure Sports Context)
Open AccessArticle
‘Perhaps a Bit Different to What We Did Twenty Years Ago’: Senior Teachers’ Perceptions of Outdoor Adventure within Primary Education in England
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
Outdoor and adventurous activities (OAA) are now a compulsory component of the primary education curriculum in England, with senior leadership teams exerting significant influence on its delivery in schools. This study considers senior teachers’ perceptions and value of the OAA strand of the [...] Read more.
Outdoor and adventurous activities (OAA) are now a compulsory component of the primary education curriculum in England, with senior leadership teams exerting significant influence on its delivery in schools. This study considers senior teachers’ perceptions and value of the OAA strand of the Physical Education (PE) National Curriculum (NC) in primary education. Six senior teachers from across a large northern city took part in semi-structured interviews. Data was analysed using an interpretivist paradigm incorporating a multistage thematic coding process. Findings centred on the lack of guidance given by the NC within OAA and ensuing issues for experienced and less confident teachers of the subject. Different interpretations of OAA were prevalent from traditional skills-based activities to personal and social development through basic activities delivered outside the classroom. Finally, all senior staff highly regarded OAA and offered a strong rationale for its inclusion within curriculum time. The full potential of OAA as a cross-curricular approach to learning in primary education is not being realised and can be partially mitigated by more purposeful integration within teacher education programmes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in an Outdoor and Adventure Sports Context)
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