Walking Outdoors during Seminars Improved Perceived Seminar Quality and Sense of Well-Being among Participants

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Feb 9;15(2):303. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020303.


Low levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour are a growing health problem globally. Physical inactivity is associated with increased risk of numerous ailments, cardiovascular disease and mortality. Our primary aim was to perform a feasibility study on how to incorporate physical activity among students and teachers in regular teaching activities. The second aim was to investigate how students and teachers perceived the differences between outdoor walking seminars and regular indoor seminars. By transforming an on-campus course into a blended course, we were able to conduct seminars outdoors in nearby nature while walking. These walking seminars were evaluated among 131 students and nine teachers leading the walking seminars. The responses to the student survey and teacher interviews indicate that discussions, sense of well-being and the general quality of the seminar improved, regardless of how physically active participants were the rest of the time. The study shows one way to increase physical activity with small means; in our case, a reorganization of how we prepared for the seminars which allowed for walking discussions.

Keywords: blended learning; higher education; outdoor physical activity; seminars; teaching methods; well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Education
  • Faculty
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perception
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / psychology*
  • Walking / psychology*