Being and doing in the outdoors brings something extra! Evaluating the Danish Healthy in Nature Project

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Purpose: Little is known of the potential of using nature and outdoor activities in relation to community-based health promotion programmes. This study seeks a better understanding of how people with mental or chronic physical health problems experience a local outdoor health promotion or rehabilitation programmes and a better understanding of how these programs contribute to the participant’s health and well-being. Methods: The study is based on data from the Healthy in Nature project targeting adults with chronic physical health problems and adults with mental health problems. Data was collected using a qualitative multiple case study design involving five selected cases with both qualitative interviews and observation. Data was analysed using Braun et al.’s 6-phase guide to qualitative reflexive thematic analysis, employing Self-Determination Theory as a theoretical framework. Results: Overall, the participants in the two groups experienced increased competence, autonomy, and relatedness, and the participants expressed the importance of both being in a natural environment and doing outdoor activities (friluftsliv). Conclusions: The study makes a valuable contribution to the field of health promotion and rehabilitation pointing to nature and friluftsliv as important elements that offer great potential to community-based health promotion.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer1983947
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Vol/bind16
Udgave nummer1
ISSN1748-2623
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 29. okt. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The Healthy in Nature project was carried out by the Danish Outdoor Council from 2017 to 2020 and financed by the National Lottery Funds and involving ten municipalities in Denmark. The aim was to implement friluftsliv into local outdoor health promotion and rehabilitation programs (OHPR programs) in each participating municipality, resulting in a total of 27 local programs (Wengel et al., ). The participating municipalities and partner organizations included in the project (e.g., local outdoor associations/clubs) had some flexibility in defining and organizing the activities for each OHPR program. This enabled the activities to be adapted to and embedded in the local settings. Activities, e.g., hikes and games in the outdoors, were led by instructors with a speciality in rehabilitation (e.g., physiotherapist) and/or the use of nature and outdoor education (e.g., a nature guide or outdoor instructor).

Funding Information:
The project Healthy in Nature was funded by the Danish Outdoor Council, which made it possible to collect data and evaluate the program (grant no. 105031). We thank all the participants and project managers who shared their experiences in the interviews.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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