Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The effects of green exercise on stress, anxiety and mood

4,413 views

Published on

Descr

  • Be the first to comment

The effects of green exercise on stress, anxiety and mood

  1. 1. The effects of green exercise on stress, anxiety and mood: The role of perceived greenness, exercise cognitions, and connection to nature James T. Neill Graham Mackay Brent Holgate Creative Commons Attribution Amy Rugendyke Public domain Centre for Applied Psychology University of Canberra47th Annual Australian Psychological Society Conference, 27-30 Sept, 2012, Perth, Western Australia 1
  2. 2. Green exercise: APS 2012 paper webpageTake a photo of thisslide with a smartdevice then use aQR decoder app. Or go direct to URL: http://goo.gl/xnSXg james.neill@canberra.edu.au 2
  3. 3. Overview• What is green exercise?• Effects and mechanisms of: – Exercise – Nature• Research questions• University of Essex studies• University of Canberra studies• Summary• Recommendations• Discussion 3
  4. 4. What is green exercise?Physical exerciseperformed in (relatively) natural settings.
  5. 5. Examples of green exercise Mountain biking Canoeing Fitness Gardening Gardening trails 5
  6. 6. Exercise: Effects• 15 to 30+ min. bouts of moderate intensity aerobic exercise are associated with well-demonstrated physical and psychological health benefits (mood, anxiety, stress).• Some studies show benefits from less intense exercise. 6
  7. 7. Exercise: Mechanisms• Thermogenic changes• Cardiovascular conditioning• Neurobiological (endorphins; norepinephrine)• Distraction• Mastery (self-efficacy) 7
  8. 8. Nature: EffectsThere are positive physical andpsychological health benefits of:• Viewing nature (e.g., through window)• Being in presence of nature (e.g., access to green spaces)• Active participation and involvement with nature (e.g., gardening, green exercise) 8
  9. 9. Nature: Mechanisms• Psycho-evolutionary theories – Biophilia hypothesis (Wilson) – Nature-deficit disorder (Louv)• Restorative theories – Psychophysiological stress recovery theory (Ulrich; Hartig) – Attention restoration theory (Kaplan & Kaplan) 9
  10. 10. Green exercise: Research questions What are the effects of green exercise? How and why do any effects occur?What psychological processes are critical? 10
  11. 11. Green exercise research:Jules Pretty, University of Essex http://www.julespretty.com http://greenexercise.org• Lab study (Pretty et al., 2005)• Field study (Pretty et al., 2007)• Meta-analysis (Barton & Pretty, 2010) 11
  12. 12. Pretty et al.s (2005) Lab study design• N = 100 randomly allocated to: – 4 experimental group + 1 control group• 20 min. “fairly light” treadmill run whilst viewing a sequence of 30 scenes on a screen• Pre- and post-exercise physiological measures (blood pressure, heart rate) and questionnaires (self-esteem, POMS). 12
  13. 13. Experimental groups: 4 types of scenes Pleasant Unpleasant Urban-Pleasant Urban-UnpleasantUrban (e.g., tall buildings (e.g., city scene with sky reflected in with broken water) windows and graffiti) Rural-Pleasant Rural-UnpleasantRural (e.g., countryside (e.g., countryside with trees and with abandoned water) car) Control group ran on treadmill with no images 13
  14. 14. Pretty et al.s (2005) Lab study results• Rural pleasant group reported the most positive outcomes: – ↓ all 3 measures of blood pressure – ↑ self-esteem – ↑ Mood: • ↑ vigour • ↓ confusion-bewilderment • ↓ tension-anxiety No rural pleasant effects for Anger-Hostility, Depression-Dejection, Fatigue-Inertia 14
  15. 15. Pretty et al.s (2005) Field study design & results• N = 263 from 10 pre-existing outdoor activity groups, UK• Outcomes from pre-post surveys: –↑ Mood (for 4 of 6 scales) –↑ Self-esteem• No predictive effects of: – Type of activity – Exercise intensity – Exercise duration 15
  16. 16. Barton & Prettys (2010) meta-analysis results• N = 1252 from 10 UK green exercise studies. Outcomes: –↑ Self-esteem (d = .46) –↑ Mood (d = .54) –Irrespective of duration, intensity, location, gender, age, and health status.• Health benefits from any short engagement in green exercise. 16
  17. 17. University of Canberra Green Exercise Studies• Psychology honours studies extending on Pretty et al.s (2007) field study: – Mackay (2008); Mackay & Neill (2010) – Holgate (2010) – Rugendyke (2012) Independent Dependent variables: – Greenness variables (pre-post): (naturalness) – Stress / anxiety – Cognitions – Mood during exercise • Positive affect – Connectedness • Negative affect to nature 17
  18. 18. Mackay (2008): Design• N = 101 participants from 8 pre- existing outdoor exercise groups• Dependent variables (Pre and post) – Stress (Perceived Stress Scale; Cohen, Kamarck & Mermelstein, 1983) – Anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; Spielberger, 1983)• Independent variables – Activity Type, Duration, Intensity, Greenness 18
  19. 19. The green exercise groupsIn the “bush capital” of Australia, 2008
  20. 20. Duration Average = 90 minsRange = 10 to 220 mins, N = 84
  21. 21. Stress10-item scale about current stress level
  22. 22. Anxiety20-item scale about current anxiety level
  23. 23. Greenness rating scale Rating scale aboutperceived environmental naturalness
  24. 24. GreennessAverage = 8.2
  25. 25. Intensity: Borg scale
  26. 26. Intensity Somewhat hard HardLight Very hard Average = 14.7
  27. 27. Mackay (2008): Results• Outcomes –↓ Stress (d = .38) –↓ Anxiety (d = .51)• Predictors –* Activity Type – positive effects for all except the 2 running groups –↑ Greenness – small, positive effect i.e., greener the perceived environment, greater anxiety reductions –= Duration – no effect –= Intensity – no effect 27
  28. 28. Holgate (2010): Design• N = 114 from 13 indoor and outdoor exercise groups in the ACT• Dependent variables: – Mood (negative affect, vitality, happiness)• Independent variables – Cognitive strategies (associative, dissociative, environmental) – Exercise characteristics (Greenness, Socialness, Intensity, Competitiveness, Expertise, Frequency) 28
  29. 29. Holgate (2010): Results• Outcomes and predictors –↓ Negative affect (d = .62) • No predictors –↑ Vitality (d = .57) • Predicted by ↑ Env. cognition (β = .24) –↑ Global happiness (d = .29) • Predicted by ↑ Intensity (β = .16) 29
  30. 30. Rugendyke (2012): Design• N = 105 from 5 ACT outdoor exercise groups• Dependent variables: – Stress (PSS) – Mood (PANAS)• Independent variables: – Connectedness to nature (CNS; Mayer & Frantz, 2004) – Environmental cognition (EC) 30
  31. 31. Rugendyke (2012): Results• Outcomes –↓ Stress (d = .65) –↑ Mood • ↓ Negative affect (d = .70) • ↑ Positive affect (d = .67)• Predictors –= Connected to nature – no effect –= Env. cognition – no effect –Controlled for cognitions (dissociative & associative), demographic & exercise characteristics 31
  32. 32. Summary• UC studies found moderate short- term improvements in +ve and -ve indicators of psychological well- being.• Results congruent with UK green exercise research (Barton & Pretty, 2010; Pretty et al., 2005, 2007) 32
  33. 33. Summary• Predictors: – ↑ Greenness – weak effect - may enhance some outcomes – ? Cognitions – weak effect – environmental cognitions may enhance some outcomes – ? Activity Type – weak, occasional effect – = Intensity – little to no effect – = Duration - no effect – = Connectedness to Nature - no effect 33
  34. 34. Recommendations• Green exercise participants report psychological benefits.• Incorporate pleasant natural exercise spaces and trails into urban areas.• Further research (using a variety of methods) is needed about psychological processes that underlie green exercise effects. 34
  35. 35. ReferencesCohen, J., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of healthand Social Psychology, 24, 385-396.Holgate, B. (2010). The role of cognitive strategies and green exercise characteristics as predictors ofmood effects in green exercise. Unpublished honours thesis, University of Canberra, Australia.Mackay, G. (2008). The effect of green exercise on state stress and anxiety. Unpublished honours thesis,University of Canberra, Australia.Mackay, G. J. S., & Neill, J. T. (2010). The effect of “green exercise” on state anxiety and the role ofexercise duration, intensity, and greenness: A quasi-experimental study. Psychology of Sport and Exercise,11, 238-245.Mayer, F. S., & Frantz, C. M. (2004). The connectedness to nature scale: A measure of individuals feelingin community with nature. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24, 503-515. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2004.10.001Neill, J. T. (2009). Green exercise: The psychological effects of exercising in nature. Presentation to theAnnual Outdoor Recreation Industry Council Conference, August 15-16, SydneyPretty, J., Peacock, J., Sellens, M., & Griffen, M. (2005). The mental and physical health outcomes of greenexercise. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 15, 319-337.Pretty, J., Peacock, J., Hine, R., Sellens, M., South, N., & Griffen, M. (2007). Green exercise in the UKcountryside: Effects on health and psychological well-being, and implications for policy and planning.Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 50, 211-231.Rugendyke, A. (2012). Green exercise, stress and mood: The role of connectedness to nature andenvironmental cognition. Unpublished honours thesis, University of Canberra, Australia.Spielberger, C. D. (1983). State-trait anxiety inventory for adults: Sample set, manual, test, scoring key.California: Mind Garden. 35

×