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

Søren Andkjær*, Trine Top Klein-Wengel, Astrid Ishøi, Christina Bjørk Petersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1983947
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29. Oct 2021


  • evaluation
  • friluftsliv
  • health
  • Nature
  • Self-Determination Theory
  • the outdoors
  • well-being


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