The relationship between physical activity in green space and human health and wellbeing: an ecological dynamics perspective

SHARMA-BRYMER, V, BRYMER, E and DAVIDS, K (2015). The relationship between physical activity in green space and human health and wellbeing: an ecological dynamics perspective. Journal of Physical Education Research, 2 (1), 7-22.

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Lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases are on the increase worldwide. This study examines the distinctive effects of exercise in green space compared to other contexts. There is growing evidence that physical activity in nature has considerable positive effects on human health far beyond those benefits assumed by physical activity alone, despite a reduction in opportunities for green exercise. A systematic literature review was undertaken to examine the evidence on the importance of physical activity in green space from different theoretical sub-disciplines including psychiatry, psychology, outdoor education, sport and exercise psychology and leisure, and recreation. Thematic categories were created to establish the effects of green space and green exercise on different yet inter-linked aspects of human health and well-being, both physical as well as mental. Our systematic review led us to apply ideas from a new theoretical perspective that contributes to existing understanding of how physical activity in green spaces (green exercise) might provide physical benefits and enhance mental health and wellbeing. This perspective, known as Ecological Dynamics, focuses on the relationship between the individual and environment in providing a functional explanation for the enhancement of physical and mental health and wellbeing. From this study it is theoretically rationalised that physical activity in green space, compared to other popular contexts, is more effective in enhancing physical and psycho-social wellbeing.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Sports Engineering Research
Page Range: 7-22
Depositing User: Carole Harris
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2015 09:47
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 18:45

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