Outdoor Motor Play: Analysis, Speculations, Research Paths

Andrea Ceciliani* 1 and Alessandro Bortolotti 2

In our rapidly changing contemporary society, it has become apparent that children spend significantly less time playing outdoors than their parents did. Therefore, considerable attention must be paid by professionals to engage this challenge, especially within early educational contexts. The goal of this study was to first explore the continual drive of play in educational growth and, second, the ways in which children play outdoors at school, in order to reap the developmental benefits of outdoor play in a supportive context, where such fundamental activity is not only allowed, but also supported. The results of this study reinforce existing research in this area, highlighting the findings of children’s physical play behaviour and its frequency, also in connection with the use of tools and toys; further findings highlight teacher’s attitudes

and suggest several options for early childhood professionals to foster children’s enjoyment of outdoor play. Finally, the study results have implications for future opportunities in the planning of active spontaneous-play.

Keywords: Outdoor motor play; Development; Motor behaviour; Observation

*Corresponding Author. University of Bologna, Italy;

andrea.ceciliani@unibo.it alessandro.bortolotti@unibo.it

Benefits of Outdoor Sports for Society.
A Systematic Literature Review and Reflections on Evidence

Barbara Eigenschenk 1,*, Andreas Thomann 1 , Mike McClure 2 , Larissa Davies 3 , Maxine Gregory 3 , Ulrich Dettweiler 4 and Eduard Inglés 5

  1. TUM Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University Munich, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60/62, 80992 München, Germany; andreas.thomann@tum.de
  2. Sport Northern Ireland, c/o Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, 32 Hilltown Road, Bryansford, Newcastle BT33 0PZ, UK; mikemcclure@sportni.net
  3. Sport Industry Research Centre, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S10 2BP, UK; l.e.davies@shu.ac.uk , m.gregory@shu.ac.uk
  4. Universitetet i Stavanger, Kjell Arholms gate 41, 4021 Stavanger, Norway; ulrich.dettweiler@uis.no
  5. National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Barcelona (UB), Av. Estadi 12-22, 08038 Barcelona, Spain; eduard.ingles@gencat.cat

* Correspondence:


Received: 9 February 2019; Accepted: 8 March 2019; Published: 15 March 2019


The combination of physical activity and being in nature is recognized as providing a range of significant benefits. The objective of this literature review was to compile an overview of the social benefits and costs associated with outdoor sports within the academic literature and to reflect on the quality of underlying evidence that supports the relationship. A systematic review was carried out with seven partners from different European countries, including Bulgaria, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. From a total of 17,560 studies identified, 133 studies were selected with relevant data extracted to standardized forms. The selected studies have been analyzed with qualitative research methods. A meta-analysis could not be conducted due to the heterogeneity of the study designs and outcome measures. As a result, the review gives an overview of the social impacts associated with outdoor sports which have been clustered to six broad categories: physical health,

mental health and wellbeing, education and lifelong learning, active citizenship, crime reduction, and anti-social behavior, as well as additional benefits. The review furthermore revealed gaps in the evidence base which are especially notable in the long-term effects that outdoor sports can have on personal and social development. Keywords: outdoor sports; outdoor recreation; health enhancing physical activity; social benefits and costs or social impacts; outdoor education

The health benefits of the great outdoors:
A systematic review and meta-analysis of greenspace exposure and health outcomes

Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, Andy Jones
Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Room 1.23 Queen’s Building, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom 0013 Received 25 February 2018; Received in revised form 4 June 2018; Accepted 13 June 2018

Corresponding author.
E-mail address:

(C. Twohig-Bennett).
Environmental Research 166 (2018) 628–637 Available online 05 July 2018

https://www.sciencedirect.com › pii

Background: The health benefits of greenspaces have demanded the attention of policymakers since the 1800s.
Although much evidence suggests greenspace exposure is beneficial for health, there exists no systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesise and quantify the impact of greenspace on a wide range of health outcomes.
Objective: To quantify evidence of the impact of greenspace on a wide range of health outcomes.
Methods: We searched five online databases and reference lists up to January 2017. Studies satisfying a priori eligibility criteria were evaluated independently by two authors.

Time Outdoors in Nature to Improve Staff Well-Being:
Examining Changes in Behaviors and Motivations Among University Staff in the Use of Natural Outdoor Environments Since the Emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Janet Loebach (1), * Donald A. Rakow (2), Genevieve Meredith (3), Mardelle McCuskey Shepley (1)

  1. Department of Human Centered Design, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States
  2. Section of Horticulture, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States
  3. Master of Public Health Program, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States

Edited by: Elena Bermejo Martins, University of Navarra, Spain
Reviewed by: Kathleen Bagot, University of Melbourne, Australia; Nadia Papadopoulou, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece
*Correspondence: Janet Loebach, ude.llenroc@hcabeol.j
This article was submitted to Health Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › P…

Work-related stress is of growing concern to employers because of its significant implications for employee dissatisfaction, reduced productivity, and lowered emotional and physical health. Job-related stress is particularly acute among staff members in higher education, negatively impacting the professional work and personal welfare of staff. During the COVID-19 pandemic, stress levels increased, due to work and non-work-related factors. Work expectations and environments shifted, as did new non-work responsibilities, such as care of dependents.

As a result, many people were forced to spend much more time at home. Given the anticipated levels of stress (higher) and the change in time spent at home (increased), we sought to explore if adults were spending more time outdoors, as compared to pre-pandemic times, and if so, for what purposes. We hypothesized that people would be spending more time outdoors in nature during the pandemic, and that they would be doing so to achieve some of the well-documented benefits including managing stress, and bolstering mental health and wellbeing. We further hypothesized that some staff would experience barriers to spending time outdoors in natural outdoor environments (NOEs), potentially limiting their ability to experience these beneficial effects.