Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Global Wellness Summit highlights benefits of outdoor experiences

Global Wellness Summit highlights benefits of outdoor experiences
January 7, 2021

The most recent Global Wellness Summit (GWS) highlighted extensive lockdowns and social distancing - as well as an acute awareness of the destruction of the environment spurred by COVID-19 travel restrictions - has placed a new value on the innate benefits of being outdoors.

A panel of media experts at the November Summit, predicted six key trends, and among them was a newfound, deep connection to nature. Of course, the need for nature was already on the rise before the pandemic hit; the crisis has only served to amplify what many wellness experts were already saying - humans have an innate need to convene with the wider world (not just their screens), and there is plenty of science to back up the benefits of spending time in nature.

GWS trend forecasters have long been touting the wellness benefits of nature and were some of the first to identify the now-ubiquitous concept of ‘Forest Bathing’ as a key wellness trend in 2015. The concept, which originated in Japan, has exploded in popularity all over the world.

In 2019, GWS trend forecasters predicted that doctors would soon be ‘Prescribing Nature’. The conclusion of this trend feels incredibly prescient in light of the pandemic’s impact on our need for nature in 2020 - Imagine going to your doctor and, instead of a prescription for some named or generic pharmaceutical, you instead receive a prescription for a 30-minute walk in nature.

On the last day of 2020, WebMD published an article outlining all the ways nature can help with the COVID-19 stress with University of Scranton author and professor of psychology, Dr John Norcross commenting “we call it ‘vitamin N’…and tell people that vitamin N is (spending) 30 minutes in nature.”

On the 2020 GWS wellness trends panel, Elaine Glusac, travel columnist for the New York Times, explained that slow, human-powered travel (cycling, hiking, walking, paddling trips) is growing fast, not only because they’re wellness experiences, but because they’re naturally socially distanced activities. She argued that there is an uptick in interest in sustainable travel—and in the newer concept that takes it even further, regenerative travel, which is not just reducing your carbon footprint, but actually leaving the place better than you found it.

The beauty of nature is that you don’t have to go too far to experience it - a huge boon for driveable destinations in a time when air travel is pretty much off the table. Wellness destinations situated within intrinsically beautiful locations are amping up their outdoor programming and marketing closer to home. RV sales are way up. Sales of bikes and hiking and camping gear are through the roof. And, with everyone spending more time at home, there’s a marked movement to bring the indoors outside, creating new outdoor spaces that are comfortable and enable social distancing.

Another benefit? In a time when many are profoundly cash strapped, getting out in nature alone or with friends can also be completely free while being utterly freeing to our minds - making it the great mental wellness equaliser.

The Global Wellness Institute’s recent study, “Defining the Mental Wellness Economy,” reported “most mental wellness strategies are free - like spending time in nature.”

The data backs up the benefits: In a recent study published in Medical News Today on how the pandemic has influenced our relationship with nature, 60% of respondents reported improved mental health and wellbeing after being outdoors.

Image top: Great Southern Regional Trails Bald Head. Credit @katackroyd The Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence (GSCORE) has announced the launch of a strategic, ten-year plan to develop a network of sustainable trails encouraging family-friendly, outdoor experiences across Western Australia’s Great Southern region.

Image below: Courtesy of Centennial Park/ Louise Kiddell. Sydney’s Centennial Park Forest Bathing or Nature Connection Walks help people to restore and regenerate themselves through remembering the simple pleasures in the natural world around them. Sensory immersion in nature helps us to access the calm alert state we try to reach through meditation but often find difficult to achieve.

Related Articles

16th December 2020 - Event highlights the importance of developing Nature Play across NSW

8th December 2020 - Awards showcase Western Australia’s contribution to Outdoor Recreation Sector

11th November 2020 - Global Wellness Institute reports mental wellness to be a $121 billion market

6th November 2020 - Recreation Aotearoa encourages participation in Get Outdoors Week activities

18th September 2020 - GSCORE launches plan to develop sustainable trails across the Great Southern region

10th September 2020 - FITREC delivers Code of Practice for outdoor fitness training in public spaces

15th July 2020 - South Australian nature-based tourism destinations to receive funding boost

5th July 2020 - New Zealand Government releases details of $1.1 billion Jobs for Nature program

5th June 2020 - Global Wellness Institute collaborates with the Vatican on ‘Resetting the World with Wellness’

15th April 2020 - Nature key to New Zealand’s post Coronavirus recovery

26th March 2020 - World Urban Parks emphasises that ‘Nature Never Closes’

7th September 2019 - Global Wellness Institute announces new initiative to define yoga therapy

16th August 2019 - Global Wellness Institute launches ‘Understanding Wellness’ white paper series

8th July 2019 - Peninsula Hot Springs founder heads Global Wellness Institute’s Hot Springs Initiative

21st June 2019 - Global Wellness Institute names top five international hot springs trends

9th November 2016 - Bushwalking and shopping rank as most popular Australian holiday activities

3rd February 2016 - Massive growth in bushwalking as ‘green exercise’ and holiday activity


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

The P.A. People

The P.A. People is a specialist integrator and contractor in sound reinforcement, audio visual systems, performance lighting and production communications. Over its almost 50 year history the company…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Sport / Technology / Venues

 
 

State Wide Pool Services

Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/hydrilla-pty-ltd

read more

Aquatics

 
 

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

PAYSMART

Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology

 
 

GREENEDESK

Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology

 
 

CENTAMAN

Centaman has been a market leader in Enterprise Software Solutions for the leisure and recreation industry and both profit and not-for-profit attractions since 1991. It offers a wide range of software…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Ticketing

 
 

SENtag

Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks

 
 

HRMWEB

At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…

read more

Finance / Fitness / Technology

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business