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Title: The effects of green exercise on psychological health and well-being
Author: Barton, Jo
ISNI:       0000 0004 2668 771X
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2009
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Exercising in greenspaces, referred to as 'green exercise' provides an ideal way of improving the nation's health. This research quantitatively analyses the psychological health benefits of engaging in a range of green exercise activities and assesses its therapeutic properties for those experiencing mental ill-health. A series of four studies was conducted comprising one laboratory study, one observational field study, one intervention field study and a six-week nature-based intervention programme for people with mental health problem. Results were analysed using multivariate statistics. Key findings showed that participating in all types of green exercise activities, of different durations, intensities and exposure time enhanced mood (p<0.001) and improved self-esteem (p<0.001). blood pressure significantly reduced when viewing rural pleasant pictures (p<0.05) and exercise alone could not explain the improved health outcomes. Introducing a nature-based intervention programme for people with mental ill-health led to improvements in self-esteem (p<0.001), indicating its therapeutic properties. The findings have important implications for individual and community health, environmental protection and national and international policies. There are many areas of policy reform that could help increase participation in green exercise activities, although it is clear that there is a need for more comprehensive economic analyses to place a monetary value on avoided health costs. Participating in green exercise activities could offer a more sustainable option in maintaining long-term activity levels. However, in order to take advantage of these opportunities, a wide range of policy reform to increase the health and greenspace dividend is still required.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available