Neill 2009 Green exercise: The psychological effects of exercising in nature
The psychological effects of nature
A presentation to the
2009 Outdoor Recreation Industry Council Annual Conference (ORIC),
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia,
August 15-16, 2009
This 50-minute session (11:20 15/8/09) explores
the processes and effects of "green exercise" on
physical and psychological health.
Short url: http://tinyurl.com/nkew5m
“Green exercise” involves physical exercise in (relatively) natural environments. There is growing recognition of the importance of the natural environment in people’s physical and psychological well-being. We also have known for some time that physical exercise is vital for well-being. Now, the natural environment and physical exercise are coming together in the notion of “green exercise”. Early green exercise research is promising, with demonstrated improvements in mood, stress and anxiety. Doctors and psychologists are being encouraged to consider “green prescriptions” for their patients – it’s free, healthy, and effective.
This session will:
What is green exercise? (5 mins)
“Green exercise” is a relatively recent concept used to describe a very old activity that has been become much less prevalent with industrialisation and urbanisation.
Green exercise can be distinguished from, or contrasted with indoor/artificial environment exercise and from experiences of natural environments (such as gazing) which do not involve physical exercise.
Whilst the psychological and physiological processes and effects of green exercise may involve some unique aspects, a logical theoretical starting point is to seek an understanding of post-industrial homo sapiens' responses to physical exercise and natural environments separately, and then to consider possible responses when physical exercise and natural environments are combined, that is, green exercise.
Effects of natural environments (5 mins)
Effects of physical exercise (5 mins)
Green exercise: Examples (5 mins)
Green exercise research: Review (5 mins)
Green exercise: UC 2008 study results (15 mins)
Mackay, G. J. S., & Neill, J. T. (2009). The effect of “green exercise” on state anxiety and the role of exercise duration, intensity, and greenness: A quasi-experimental study. Manuscript submitted for publication.