International Journal of Exercise Science 14(3): 498-518, 2021. Positive outcomes for psychological and physiological health have resulted from a nature experience. However, evidence is limited for nature-based interventions and their effect on a cancer population. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to determine if incorporating the One Nature Challenge (ONC) into a ten-week group exercise program (WE-Can) for individuals living with cancer could offer additional psychological and/or physiological benefits to those previously observed in WE-Can. For this study, two separate ONCs were implemented throughout two seasons (summer and winter) to formulate a ONC group (n = 18; 60 ± 12yrs). Previous WE-Can graduates were used as a control group (n = 160; 59 ± 11yrs) for this study. Psychological and physiological assessments were administered in a pre- and post-test. In addition, nature relatedness (NR; ones’ relationship with nature) was measured at the beginning, middle, and end of WE-Can. Following five weeks, the ONC began and participants tracked the days they experienced nature for at least thirty-minutes (24 ± 6 days), for a thirty-day period. The ONC finished concurrently with WE-Can where post-evaluations and focus groups were administered immediately following. No additional gain in overall health was found between groups. However, aerobic fitness and fatigue significantly improved for the ONC group. This was supported by frequent activities and self-reported restoration of the mind while experiencing nature. In conclusion, the lack of overall improvement could be limited by sample size and the high level of NR prior to ONC, indicating participants were already ‘one with nature.’
Morris, Samantha L.; Newhouse, Ian; Larocque, Tracey; Gillis, Kelly-Jo; Smith, Leanne; and Nisbet, Elizabeth K.
"Becoming One with Nature: A Nature Intervention for Individuals Living with Cancer Participating in a Ten-Week Group Exercise and Wellness Program,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 14
3, Pages 498 - 518.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol14/iss3/8