Exercise & the natural environment – the perfect anti-stress combination

Thursday 10th May - 10:45-11:25

There are, as many will already be aware, numerous research papers out there highlighting the benefits of physical activity for stress reduction (if you’re interested in finding out more, our ‘Performance’ stream offers some great seminars for you this year).

There’s also a growing evidence base surrounding the benefits of the natural environment for combating the effects of stress and anxiety – something that will be of little surprise to those of us who already enjoy moments outdoors to escape our desk and decompress.

So what happens when you bring those two elements together: exercise and the natural environment? In terms of a recipe for stress reduction, is the whole even greater than the sum of its parts?

This session will explore recent research into cortisol levels among those taking part in outdoor group-based physical activity, demonstrating the positive effects such activities have on stress levels.

Craig Lister, Managing Director at Green Gym - The Conservation Volunteers

Day 2: 10:45-11:25 Evidence

Craig joined the military straight from school and experienced the positive impact that team focused achievement and development of self discipline can have. Since leaving the military Craig has researched and promoted physical activity, a healthy diet and a positive mindset as primary prevention and management for a wide range of diseases. He has worked directly with patients, many with significant challenges, to improve their health in a sustainable manner and gained insight from the determination people can show when overcoming barriers. Craig has worked in public health and the NHS for over 20 years, most recently as national programme manager for the NHS Health Check programme with PHE and prior to that as Head of Preventative Health with NHS Bedfordshire. An exercise physiologist by training, his focus over recent years has been towards the psycho-social barriers people face in taking preventative health measures and seeking to understand and mitigate these.

Craig Lister, Managing Director at Green Gym - The Conservation Volunteers

Dr Nina Smyth, Senior Lecturer, Psychology Department at University of Westminster