A research study at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry has concluded that exercising in a natural environment was far better than doing so in an enclosed space.
The researchers collaborated with the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH) in gathering information form 11 trials that involved 833 adults. They found out that natural environments were more conducive to feelings of being refreshed and revitalized with more energy and vigor. All negative feelings of tension, confusion, anger and depression dropped dramatically by exercising in the open air surrounded by green trees. There was a greater eagerness among the subjects to continue with this form of exercising.
The senior author of the study, Professor Michael Depledge, commented that more people live in urban surroundings that play a large role in increasing incidences of obesity and depression. It is important to connect with nature to deal with both the physical and mental stress that come out of modern living.
Research fellow Dr Jo Thompson-Coon said: "The hypothesis that there are added beneficial effects to be gained from exercising in the natural environment is very appealing and has generated considerable interest." She does state the need for further research and more focused trials to understand the connection between exercising in natural environments and good health.
The study has been reported in the online edition of the journal 'Environmental Science and Technology'.