It is understood that physical activity and the natural environment is beneficial for mental health and well-being. I am researching the role of blue exercise (exercise conducted in a natural setting which is predominantly blue space e.g. coastlines, rivers) on young people’s (aged 11-16) well-being. For both conceptual and methodological reasons, there is not a valid or accessible measure of young people’s well-being for me to use to assess the relationship between blue exercise and well-being. I am therefore in the midst of developing and validating my own measure of young people’s well-being. Once developed I will be conducting an intervention study with the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation to investigate whether participation in their sailing courses improves the well-being of young people over the course of at least 1 month.
Well-being is one aspect of mental health and although my research is focused on a different population, there are similarities and interesting differences within the literature of young people and students which I hope to explore more as a part of SMARTEN.
If you’d like to hear more about my work, please do contact me! My email is below. If you’d like to be involved, I am looking to collaborate with organisations who work with young people aged 11-16, I am adopting a person based approach to my PhD and am therefore involving young people as much as possible.
My aspiration is to develop a measure of well-being to reliability and validly assess the impact of sailing on well-being. If shown to have a positive impact, it means that the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation can report the impact of their classes to obtain more charitable funding, helping to make sailing free and accessible for schools. My research into the development and validation of a well-being scale could provide a framework for the sector to apply to different age groups and populations to help monitor the effectiveness of interventions used to improve well-being.
Ellie Gennings, PhD Student & PTHP Lecturer at the University of Winchester, Department of Sport, Exercise & Health
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