1st Edition

Physical Activity in Natural Settings Green and Blue Exercise

Edited By Aoife A. Donnelly, Tadhg E. MacIntyre Copyright 2020
    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    384 Pages
    by Routledge

    Exercise interactions with green and blue spaces offer low-cost, non-invasive solutions to public health challenges—particularly around mental health and obesity—and issues around environmental sustainability. Physical Activity in Natural Settings brings together multi-disciplinary, international research on physical activity, health and the natural environment, offering evidence-based guidance on implementing nature-based solutions at individual, patient and population levels.

    Divided over four sections, the book assesses the current research landscape, explores the underlying psychological and physiological mechanisms of the benefits of green exercise, details applied examples of physical activity in natural settings, and suggests future directions for research and practice. It features contributions from experts from around the world and covers topics including:

    • Self-determination, nature and wellbeing
    • Visual cognition and multisensory stimuli
    • Nature’s role in growing resilience
    • Physical education and nature
    • Mindfulness and green exercise
    • Positive psychology and pro-environmental behaviour

    Timely and prescient, and showcasing real-life examples of green exercise prescription, Physical Activity in Natural Settings is fascinating and important reading for any students or researchers in the psychology or physiology of physical activity and health, physical education or outdoor studies, and policy-makers and health professionals.

    PART I: The Research Landscape

    1. Friend or Foe: Salutogenic Possibilities of the Environment

    David Sheffield, Kirsten McEwan and Miles Richardson

    2. Societal Challenges, Methodological Issues and Transdisciplinary Approaches

    Tadhg MacIntyre, Giovanna Caloguiri, Aoife Donnelly, Giles Warrington, Juergen Beckmann, an Lahart and Noel Brick

    3. Known knowns: a systematic review of the effects of green exercise compared with exercising indoors

    Ian Lahart, Chris Gidlow and Giovanna Caloguiri

    4. The green exercise concept: Two intertwining pathways to health and well-being

    Mike Rogerson, Jo Barton, Jules Pretty, and Valerie Gladwell

    5. Meaning, Nature, And Well-Being

    Jürgen Beckmann, Eric R. Igou, and Eric Klinger


    Part II: Possible Mechanisms

    6. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Nature: From Motor Cognition to Grounded Cognition  

    Christopher R. Madan, Tadhg E. MacIntyre, Juergen Beckmann and Massimiliano Cappuccio

    7. Affective responses to natural environments: From Everyday Engagement to Therapeutic Impact

    Patricia Darcy, Chris Gidlow, and Marc Jones

    8. A Remedy for Boredom: Natural Environments as a Psychological Resource

    Eric R. Igou and Wijnand A. P. van Tilburg

    9. Growing Resilience through Connecting with Nature

    Stephen Smith, Evan Hunt, Moya O’Brien, and Deirdre MacIntyre


    Part III: Case Studies

    10. From Tracks to Trails: Case Studies in Green Exercise 

    Tadhg E. MacIntyre, Greig Oliver, Andree Walkin, Giovanna Calogiuri, Aoife Donnelly, Susan Gritzka and Maire-Treasa Ni Cheallaigh

    11. Immersion, Watersports and Blueways and the Blue Mind: Case Studies in Blue Exercise

    Tadhg MacIntyre, Andree Walkin, Giovanna Calogiuri, Greig Oliver, Aoife Donnelly, Susan Gritzka and Giles Warrington 

    12. Why outdoors? A systematic approach to examine and value the social benefits of outdoor sports 

    Mike McClure and Barbara Eigenschenk

    13. ‘Doing’ Adventure: The Mental Health Benefits of using Occupational Therapy Approaches in Adventure Therapy Settings

    Mike Rogerson, Sinéad Kelly, Simone Coetzee, Jo Barton and Jules Pretty

    14. Greening education: Education outside the classroom in natural settings as a school-based health promotion approach for children and young people 

    Peter Bentsen, Glen Nielsen, Mads Bølling, Lærke Mygind, Matt P. Stevenson, And Erik Mygind

    Part IV: Future Pathways

    15. Future-Thinking through Technological Nature: Connecting or Disconnecting 

    Giovanna Calogiuri, Sigbjørn Litleskare and Tadhg E. MacIntyre

    16. "Dreadmills": Is there such a thing as sustainable exercise

    Aoife Donnelly, Marlena Tomkalska and Tadhg MacIntyre

    17. Mindfulness and Green Exercise: Enhancing Our Relationship with Physical Activity and the Natural World

    Kat Longshore, Michelle M. McAlarnen, Ryan Sappington, and Dominic Harmon

    18. Nature-based Interventions Cities: A Look Ahead

    Tadhg MacIntyre, Christopher Gidlow, Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Marcus Collier, Susan Gritzka and Giles Warrington


    Aoife A. Donnelly is a Lecturer in the School of Food Science and Environmental Health at the Technical University, Dublin, Ireland. Previously, she was an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded post-­doctoral researcher and developed an operational real time air quality forecast model using integrated parametric and non-­parametric regression techniques. Her PhD studies explored background air pollution concentration variations across Ireland. She is a founding member of the GO GREEN (Going Outdoors: Gathering Research Evidence on Emotions and Nature) research initiative.

    Tadhg E. MacIntyre is a Lecturer with the Health Research Institute and course director for the Masters in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Since 2011, he has been an HCPC accredited practitioner in sport psychology in the UK and has been a member of the Irish Institute of Sport quality assurance panel since 2007. Previously, he has conducted funded research for the following agencies: World Anti-Doping Agency, the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, the British Psychological Society, Erasmus + European Union funding and he is a member of the Strategic Level Expert Advisory Board of the H2020 project Re-Nature. He is a founding member of the GO GREEN (Going Outdoors: Gathering Research Evidence on Emotions and Nature) research initiative.