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Title: Leisure experiences in Nordic walking and rambling and their contributions to mental well-being : a mixed methods study
Author: Zurawik, Marta Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 038X
Awarding Body: University of Bolton
Current Institution: University of Bolton
Date of Award: 2017
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Walking is a common recreational activity enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. The body of knowledge stresses the importance of physical and social environmental influences on individual decisions to walk, which benefit health and well-being. The socio-ecological approach chosen as the theoretical framework for this study provides a comprehensive understanding of how multiple psychological, social and environmental factors influence engagement in leisure walking. The purpose of this cross-sectional study is to compare Nordic walking with rambling, as examples of leisure walking activities, in terms of socio-environmental influences, which produce unique leisure experiences in order to determine how these leisure experiences benefit mental well-being. The study used mixed-method approach. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected between April 2013 and August 2014. Quantitative data were gathered from 220 Nordic walking practitioners and 288 ramblers who completed close-ended online surveys. Qualitative data were obtained from the interviews with 13 ramblers and 12 Nordic walking practitioners. The comparison of the quantitative findings revealed that Nordic walking and rambling groups scored high on mental well-being scales. However, there was no significant difference in WEMWBS scores between the groups, which suggests that in general recreational walking benefits mental well-being. The comparative qualitative analyses revealed that the walking activities enhanced well-being in different ways. Nordic walking promoted a sense of achievement through opportunities for the commitment to personal health goals and skills development. Rambling enhanced well-being by offering positive experiences of social interactions with like-minded people in aesthetically pleasing natural environments. This study is the first step to bridge the gap in knowledge by offering a broad understanding of benefits of Nordic walking, in comparison to rambling, towards mental well-being.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available