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Health impacts of the John Muir Award

Date: April 2010
Category: Report
Author: Richard Mitchell, Rebecca Shaw

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There is growing interest in whether contact with ‘outdoor’ environments has a
contribution to make to keeping Scotland’s population healthy.
Although we know that people who spend time in such environments as children are
more likely to continue doing so as adults, evidence about whether an introduction to
such environments has an impact on the health and health-related behaviour and
attitudes of younger people is currently lacking.
The aim of this study, carried out by the University of Glasgow, was to assess the impact of participation in the John Muir Award in the health-related behaviours, attitudes and ‘trajectories’ of 10-16 year olds from Scotland.
The study looked at the young people’s attitude to physical activity and sport; self reported fitness; self esteem attitudes to and intentions for the future; interest and participation in visiting ‘wild places’ and other outdoor environments.