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

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Nature is associated to health and mental well-being among the general population (Thompson Coon et al., 2011), but little is known of the potential of using nature in relation to community-based health promotion programs. This presentation reports on a study examining how people with mental or chronic physical health problems experience local outdoor health promotion or rehabilitation programs and how these programs contribute to the participant’s health and well-being.
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 a qualitative reflexive thematic analysis, employing Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) as a theoretical framework.
The participants in the two groups experienced increased competence, autonomy, and relatedness, and the project had a positive impact on their self-perceived well-being.
It was important to the participants that they were in a natural environment participating in friluftsliv (Andkjær, 2012), which indicates that both being and doing in a natural setting is important.
The participants experienced outdoor health promotion programs as a beneficial contribution to their health and well-being, indicating that municipalities should continue to develop and implement health promotion and rehabilitation programs using nature and friluftsliv. Further research, however, is needed on the importance of different methods and programs to different participant groups in different contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
EventInternational Outdoor Education Research Conference 2022 - University of Cumbria, Ambleside, UK, Ambleside, United Kingdom
Duration: 18. Jul 202222. Jul 2022


ConferenceInternational Outdoor Education Research Conference 2022
LocationUniversity of Cumbria, Ambleside, UK
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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