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Walking for well-being: are group walks in certain types of natural environments better for well-being than group walks in urban environments?

Marselle, MR, Irvine, KN and Warber, SL 2013, 'Walking for well-being: are group walks in certain types of natural environments better for well-being than group walks in urban environments?' , International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10 , pp. 5603-5628.

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Abstract

The benefits of walking in natural environments for well-being are increasingly understood. However, less well known are the impacts different types of natural environments have on psychological and emotional well-being. This cross-sectional study investigated whether group walks in specific types of natural environments were associated with greater psychological and emotional well-being compared to group walks in urban environments. Individuals who frequently attended a walking group once a week or more (n = 708) were surveyed on mental well-being (Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale), depression (Major Depressive Inventory), perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale) and emotional well-being (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule). Compared to group walks in urban environments, group walks in farmland were significantly associated with less perceived stress and negative affect, and greater mental well-being. Group walks in green corridors were significantly associated with less perceived stress and negative affect. There were no significant differences between the effect of any environment types on depression or positive affect. Outdoor walking group programs could be endorsed through “green prescriptions” to improve psychological and emotional well-being, as well as physical activity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: natural environment; green space; well-being; Walking for Health; walking group; walking; green exercise; England; UK
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1464-8849
Funders: De Montfort University
Depositing User: Dr Melissa Marselle
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2015 12:49
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 18:20
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/34151

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