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Review confirms benefits of outdoor exercise
Date:2/4/2011

m and Blue Gym, and innovative interventions by medical practitioners that include exercise outdoors as part of holistic treatments for those suffering from depression and similar psychological ailments.

At present research analysts are working with a paucity of high quality evidence, and one significant outcome from this study is the urgent need for there to be further research in this area. Large, well-designed longer-term trials in populations who might benefit most from the potential advantages of outdoor exercise are needed to fully analyse the effects of outdoor exercise on mental and physical well-being. Studies are also required that measure the influence of such effects on the sustainability of physical activity.

Dr. Jo Thompson-Coon, PenCLAHRC Research Fellow, commented: "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. By using the data currently available to us we have added strength to the link between mental and physical well-being and outdoor exercise, but further research and longer, tailor-made and focused trials are needed to better understand this link."

The senior author of the study, Professor Michael Depledge, Chair of Environment and Human Health at the ECEHH, added: "Some 75 per cent 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 int
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Contact: Andrew Gould
andrew.gould@pcmd.ac.uk
44-139-268-6107
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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