Peninsula Logo It now seems that exercising outdoors is much more fruitful than in the gym. A team of scientists from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry asserts that performing physical activities in the natural environment offers mental and physical well-being. The study findings apparently have a greater significance in the health domain.

During the study, investigators thoroughly evaluated data from a number of sources including 11 randomized and non-randomized control trials that engulfed a total of 833 adults. Eligible trials that compared the effects of outdoor exercise initiatives with those conducted indoors and suggesting at least one physical or mental well-being outcome in adults or children were assessed. It was observed that majority of the trials registered an enhancement in well-being when compared with exercising indoors. Indulging in physical activity within natural environments probably resulted in greater feelings of revitalization, elevated energy as well as positive engagement, together with decline in tension, confusion, anger and depression. Greater enjoyment and satisfaction was reported by those exercising outdoors.

“Some 75 percent of the European population now live in urban environments, so that increasing efforts need to be made to re-connect people with nature via programmes such as the Green Gym and Blue Gym. Our research, which brings together data from a wide variety of sources, adds significant weight to the case for spending more time in the natural environment as members of the public and their clinicians fight to counteract the negative outcomes of modern living, such as obesity and depression. We look forward to conducting the further research and trials required to establish the evidence-base for introduction of outdoor activity into general lifestyle to complement therapeutic intervention,” revealed the senior author of the study, Professor Michael Depledge, Chair of Environment and Human Health at the ECEHH.

However, none of the identified studies figured out the impact of physical activity on physical well-being, or the effect of natural environments on sticking to exercise. Exercising outdoors seemingly had a positive effect on mental and physical well-being. In conclusion, experts linked mental and physical well-being with outdoor exercise.

The study was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.