• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Woodland walks and your ‘Elf

F

firemonkee57

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
8,217
Jan 15 2015


Fancy a stroll through the winter woodland wonderland? If you do, you’ll probably spot an elf or two down in the woods, taking a well earned break from critically appraising research papers. But could these woodland walks actually be improving our mental, emotional, and social wellbeing? “Of course!” I hear you cry, “how could they not be?” Well that’s a good point, but providing robust research evidence to back this up can be tricky.

Marselle et al have tried to do that very thing. Their study draws information from a larger observational, longitudinal study about the mental, emotional, and social well-being from participation in the national Walks for Health (WfH) programme and was published in a special edition of the ‘Ecopsychology and public health’ journal in September 2014.

Previous evaluations of national group walk programs have appeared in the ‘‘gray literature’’ i.e. not published in peer-reviewed journals, and tended to lack a comparison group. Marselle et al have tried to overcome both of these things.
Hypotheses 1, 2 and 3

Their hypotheses for this paper were:

Individuals who take part in nature-based group walks would experience significantly less (a) depression, (b) perceived stress, and (c) negative affect, compared to individuals who do not take part in such walks;
Individuals who take part in nature-based group walks would experience significantly greater (a) positive affect, (b) mental well-being, and (c) social well being, compared to individuals who do not take part in such walks;
The positive well-being from such walks would be independent of other covariates of well-being, such as physical activity and stressful life events.

- See more at: Woodland walks and your 'Elf
 
Purple Chaos

Purple Chaos

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
1,079
It's an interesting article. I wonder though if all participants were mental health sufferers (if it states this somewhere, please ignore all of this!) at some point.

I totally agree with the outcome but I would imagine that a lot of people with mental health issues would feel too isolated, fatigued or anxious to be part of a walking group. I would say then, that to even be part of the group, your mental wellbeing would have to be reasonably stable to participate in the first place.

Just the thoughts of a tired brain :)
 
L

lovagemuffin

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
640
yeah its where we are meant t be not in an overcrowded concrete jungle.
 
F

firemonkee57

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
8,217
It's an interesting article. I wonder though if all participants were mental health sufferers (if it states this somewhere, please ignore all of this!) at some point.

I totally agree with the outcome but I would imagine that a lot of people with mental health issues would feel too isolated, fatigued or anxious to be part of a walking group. I
I did a walking group via my mental health resource centre for a few years. I found my anxiety was reduced while doing it as we were accompanied by staff and there was no chance of me getting lost. If I went with an ordinary walking group I wouldn't feel so safe and my anxiety levels would rocket. To do it I'd have to have a befriender or such like accompanying me.
 
Purple Chaos

Purple Chaos

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
1,079
I did a walking group via my mental health resource centre for a few years. I found my anxiety was reduced while doing it as we were accompanied by staff and there was no chance of me getting lost. If I went with an ordinary walking group I wouldn't feel so safe and my anxiety levels would rocket. To do it I'd have to have a befriender or such like accompanying me.
I think it's a great idea and I can see how it would make you feel better. I'd be like you and need support of some kind, though going with a group of friends would be doable.

I'm not sure if they do anything like it around here. There's a WfH group but they sometimes do walks through and around town too, which doesn't appeal to me. Also, most of the walkers are my mum's age (my mum actually goes on them) so 65-75 years. I'm far too young for that! :)
 
Top