Gunnar Gunnarsson Abstract What Is The Potential Of Norwegian Outdoor Life Tradition ( Friluftsliv) In Cardiac Rehabilitation
What is the potential of Norwegian Outdoor Life Tradition (Friluftsliv) in the Maintenance phase
(III phase) of Cardiac Rehabilitation?
A literature review with emphasize on selected theories and empirical studies.
Gunnarsson, Gunnar 1
Affiliation: 1 firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone no: +47 40203161
Background and objective:
In Norway, as in the rest of the world there is a high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Due to increased
knowledge and new technology, there is an increasing survival rate after cardiac events, creating a growing
need for Cardiac Rehabilitation. However, due to economical and organizational reasons, the rehabilitation period
at hospital and rehabilitation clinics is shortening. This diminishes the chances that patients adapt to a new lifestyle
during rehabilitation, and they are therefore in danger of abandoning the active lifestyle when returning back to their
Norway has a tradition for outdoor life, called “Friluftsliv”, which is highly valued and is a popular form of
recreational activity. Friluftsliv (Norwegian outdoor life tradition) consists of dwelling and being physical active in
natural environment. The main objective of this literature review is to examine the health effects of participating in
Friluftsliv. To this end I searched out for the health potential of Friluftsliv for patients who return back home from
rehabilitation clinics, e.g. during the Maintenance phase of Cardiac rehabilitation in Norway.
Friluftsliv: Cardiac Rehabilitation
with pedagogy and cultural heritage
(The Maintenance phase)
Nature and Health: Physical Activity
with Ecopsychology and
Figure 1: the figure shows the topics which are examined to enlighten the potential of Friluftsliv in Cardiac Rehabilitation
There is a lack of studies in Friluftsliv focusing on the health effects. Hence, it was necessary to also build upon
relevant literature from the fields of Physical Activity and Health in general, and upon Agriculture and Landscape
Architecture (“Nature and Health”), when examine the health potential of Friluftsliv. The literature review is focused
on published evidence based research identified in PubMed and Cochrane, plus publications and reports from The
Swedish Agricultural University, and from the European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research
(COST). This literature review is supervised by Professor Yngvar Ommundsen of the Norwegian School of Sport
Participating in Friluftsliv includes active interaction between human being and the natural environment, and this may
support the physical, psychological and social development of involving cardiac patients. With its own tradition of
pedagogy, mentoring and its cultural heritage, Friluftsliv can be a good alternative in Cardiac Rehabilitation in
Norway. Theoretical and empirical insight from the fields of Physical Activity and Health and from “Nature and
Health” adds validity to this conclusion.
Keywords: Friluftsliv, outdoor life, cardiac rehabilitation, horticultural therapy, community-based rehabilitation.