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Paddling Is Tops In Research On Outdoor Women’s Mental Wellbeing

Women in Adventure is ‘an independent research-based project focused on empowering women through the sharing of information, inspiration and advice’. Its Women in Adventure Mental Wellbeing Survey was initiated to consider links between the outdoors and mental wellbeing in women, building on previous research regarding inspiration and issues.

It was launched at the Shextreme Film Festival, the celebration of women in adventure through film, in October 2017 and ran until January 2018, receiving over 2700 responses and hundreds of personal insights from 44 countries regarding over 100 outdoor activities. 99% agreed that outdoors has a positive effect on their mental well-being.

Hetty Key, Lead Researcher of ​Women in Adventure​, explained the motivation behind the survey,

Instinctively, I think we know that spending time outdoors is good for us. Even a short walk in your nearest park or green space can make a difference – you rarely regret going out. When I launched the survey in 2017, I felt there was a lack of accessible information showing how and to what extent the outdoors impacts our lives.” 

Any detailed consideration of the results should involve a complete reading and awareness of factors including age and activity participation. Though hiking, cycling and running were the most popular activities, according to the study female kayakers have the greatest mental well-being.

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