Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Apr 4;14(4). pii: E377. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14040377.

Why Do People Exercise in Natural Environments? Norwegian Adults' Motives for Nature-, Gym-, and Sports-Based Exercise.

Author information

Department of Dental Care and Public Health, Faculty of Public Health, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Hamarveien 112, Elverum 2411, Norway.
European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Knowledge Spa, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall TR1 3HD, UK.
Psychology Applied to Health (PAtH), College House, University of Exeter Medical School, St Luke's Campus, Exeter, Devon EX1 2LU, UK.


Exercise in natural environments ("green exercise") confers numerous health benefits, but little is known about why people engage in green exercise. This study examined the importance of nature experiences as a motive for physical activity and the motivational profile of people who engage in green exercise compared to gym- and sports-based exercise. Physical activity motives and typical times spent in different domains of physical activity were reported by 2168 Norwegian adults in a survey. Experiencing nature was generally rated as the second-most important physical activity motive, exceeded only by convenience motives, and it was especially important for older adults and those who engage in greater amounts of instrumental physical activity. Green exercisers reported stronger motives concerning convenience and experiencing nature, whereas gym- or sports-based exercisers reported stronger motives for physical health and sociability. The motives associated with different leisure-time exercise domains may assist in understanding optimal promotion of green exercise.


greenspace; health promotion; leisure time; outdoor recreation; physical activity; sedentary

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center