Assessing the Impact of Outdoor Activities on Mental Wellbeing; Focusing on the Walking Path in Urban Area

Iran J Public Health. 2021 Oct;50(10):2132-2138. doi: 10.18502/ijph.v50i10.7517.


Background: Provided that COVID-19 pandemic has led to mental wellbeing disorders for city dwellers, and given that there is a significant association between outdoor activities and mental health, this paper investigated how the frequency of walking during the pandemic contributes to the immediate and subsequent 'mood'.

Methods: A longitudinal data collection method was adopted to verify the 'mood' of the participants before and after walking. The survey was conducted with 100 participants in a walking path in Shiraz, Iran, on Jan 2021. The quantitative analysis methods were performed in SPSS to examine the mental wellbeing outcomes of walking in the outdoor walking path when considering the psychological impacts of the pandemic and the quantity.

Results: The result affirms the positive contribution of walking in the improvement of mental-wellbeing-mood during the pandemic; though, such a mood boost is in a direct relationship with the quantity of the activity within a week. Moreover, other factors can play a significant role, including the 'mood before walking', and the age of the participants.

Conclusion: It is likely that encouraging people to consider walking as their routine activity can lead to several positive consequences on mental wellbeing since walking as a basic outdoor activity during the pandemic can contribute on the mood. .

Keywords: COVID-19; Mental wellbeing; Mood; Outdoor activity; Urban area; Walking path.