It’s official: camping makes you happy! New study shows camping and outdoor enjoyment is good for yourmental health and well-being
A major new study has revealed how camping in the great outdoors improves people’s well-being and mental health. The Outjoyment Report was commissioned by The Camping and Caravanning Club and undertaken by a team of academics at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and Sheffield Hallam University.
The study included a survey of nearly 11,000 campers and non campers, assessing their attitudes towards the benefits of all types of camping such as pitching up in a tent, caravan or motorhome, or going glamping.
The report has been published 11 years after the ground-breaking Real Richness Report, also commissioned by the Club and researched by LJMU, which provides a comparison to findings from more than a decade ago. Key findings from The Outjoyment Report discovered campers are:
• Happy: 97% of campers say happiness is their top motivator for going camping while 48% of campers reported feeling happy almost every day, compared with 35% of non campers
• More connected to nature: 93% go camping to enjoy being in nature – the second highest motivator after happiness, and they score highly on measures
of nature connection
• Enjoying better well-being: 93% of campers value camping for the benefits it gives to their health and well-being – an increase on the 85% of our Real
Richness Report in 2011
• Flourishing: 44% are flourishing (have optimal mental health) compared with 31% of non campers. This increases for those who camp more often
• Less stressed: 88% of campers are motivated to go camping to take time out of everyday life and have higher levels of psychological well-being than non
• Active outdoors: 98% of campers take part in outdoor activities. 91% go walking, 39% cycle and 26% enjoy bird-watching.
Sabina Voysey, The Camping and Caravanning Club’s Director General, said: “The findings of The Outjoyment Report have never been so relevant as they are today. Camping in all its different forms puts us on the doorstep of the great outdoors and provides a clear pathway to a healthier and happier lifestyle – one in which people appreciate nature more and are active outdoors. Given the many negative events that have been happening in recent times at home and abroad, anything that helps people to feel better about themselves and each other is vitally important.”
Dr Kaye Richards, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, said: “Camping connects people – to the outdoors, to nature, to each
other, and most importantly to themselves. Positive emotions generated from outdoor enjoyment help to alleviate everyday stressors and promote feelings of life satisfaction. It is no surprise then, that the more people camp the more this can improve happiness and well-being.”
Dr Adele Doran, Principal Lecturer in Tourism Management at Sheffield Hallam University, added: “Campers really enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. They pursue a range of outdoor activities while camping, which fuels their sense of adventure, keeps them physically active and connects them to nature. In fact, campers are more connected to nature than non campers.”
For a copy of The Outjoyment Impact Report, the full report or photography, please visit www.theoutjoymentreport.co.uk.
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