Does the mode of exercise influence the benefits obtained by green exercise?

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Abstract

Green exercise studies have tended to use walking as a modality of exercise to establish benefits to mental health. Whether green exercise benefits translate into different forms of green exercise has been deemed an important research gap. A mixed-methods study design was used to compare psychological responses between two forms of green exercise; golf and walking. A total of 20 participants (10 in each group), with a range of ages and experience were recruited to take part in the study. Participants in the walking condition exhibited significantly greater levels of dissociative cognitions than golf condition participants. Consequently, only the walking condition significantly improved in a directed attention test. Results from the Exercise-Induced Feeling Inventory questionnaire found the walking condition demonstrated increases in all four subscales, whereas the golf condition showed no significant improvements. Based on the findings from the qualitative analysis, distinct differences were seen with regards to the perception of the environment. Participants in the golf condition noted natural elements as obstacles to effective performance, whereas the walking group noted natural stimuli as evoking positive feelings. In agreement with the Attention Restoration Theory, the current study demonstrates that the benefits of green exercise are somewhat reduced when greater levels of directed attention towards the activity are exhibited during green exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Green exercise
  • walking
  • golf
  • nature

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