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Environmental sciences, Public and environmental health, Environmental sciences (social aspects, Interdisciplinary
Green exercise is defined as undertaking physical activity whilst being directly exposed to nature (Pretty et al., 2005; 2007). Pretty et al. (2003) were among the first wave of researchers to investigate the synergistic benefits of incorporating physical activity and exposure to the natural environment to produce positive psychological affect. Over the past decade, investigations into the possible additive effects on well-being of green exercise and how it can be used as an influential tool to help combat the rising rate of both physical inactivity and non –communicable disease has gained prominence in scientific literature. However, there is still a need to investigate the mechanisms behind observed health benefits of the natural environment and to gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of environmental components and how this has potential to improve wellbeing and increase autonomous motivation in physical activity in a community setting. The research project GoGreenEx (Going Outdoors: Gathering Research Evidence on ENvironment and Exercise) aims to build engagement between expert researchers across interdisciplinary perspectives (psychology, physiology, biomechanics, environmental sciences and physical activity) and societal groups, both from the charity sector (Mental Health Ireland-a charity that promotes positive mental health) and the sporting domain (Local Sport Partnerships and commercial entities-e.g., Clarisford Park). This novel research in the field of public health will use the natural laboratory of Clarisford Park to study the impacts and underlying processes that surround green exercise and further add to our understanding of its potential effects on population health and well-being.
O'Sullivan, N., Donnelly, A., Macintyre, T. & Warrington, G. (2016). Investigating the impact of green exercise on population health and well-being in a small community in Ireland: a novel approach using a natural laboratory ecosystem. Environment and Health International, vol.18