Three field studies concerning leisure activities, restoration and stress reduction in urban parks and close-to-the-city forests as well as in fitness centres are presented. Study 1 analyzes restorative effects of training in the forest and in fitness centres. In the questionnaire study, which was accomplished in four fitness centres and four forest sites, 269 persons participated. A clear improvement of well-being was observed after sports activities in both environments. Persons that were training in the forests, however, reported a somewhat stronger reduction of everyday hassles and a higher improvement of mental balance, while those who were training in fitness centres reported somewhat stronger stress reduction and a clearer improvement of their physical well-being. A second questionnaire survey (N = 164) addressed restoration and stress reduction in forests and parks and compares the effects of different activities performed in these green environments (Study 2). The participants felt on average clearly less stressed and more balanced after the visit in the greenspace than before. Practicing sports activities in the green showed a better effect on well-being than other activities. A further field survey (N = 80) compares restoration and stress reduction of joggers and persons taking a walk in parks and in suburban forests (Study 3). The physically more active joggers reported a stronger stress reduction. Thus, the studies 2 and 3 indicate that sports activities in green areas are particularly favorable for mental well-being. No significant differences between visiting forests and parks regarding the effects on well-being resulted from these two studies.
Erholungseffekte sportlicher Aktivitäten in stadtnahen Wäldern, Parks und Fitnessstudios | Restorative effects of sports activities in suburban forests, parks, and fitness centres
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Ralf Hansmann, Stella-Maria Eigenheer-Hug, Estelle Berset, Klaus Seeland; Erholungseffekte sportlicher Aktivitäten in stadtnahen Wäldern, Parks und Fitnessstudios | Restorative effects of sports activities in suburban forests, parks, and fitness centres. Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Forstwesen 1 March 2010; 161 (3): 81–89. doi: https://doi.org/10.3188/szf.2010.0081
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