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Atmospheres, landscapes and nature:off-road runners' experiences of wellbeing

MacBride-Stewart, Sara ORCID: 2019. Atmospheres, landscapes and nature:off-road runners' experiences of wellbeing. Health 23 (2) , pp. 139-157. 10.1177/1363459318785675

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This article reflects on the relations between health and natural landscapes. The study explore how the landscape context – its textual and sensory aesthetics – positively shapes experiences and perceptions of the landscape, for those people who seek out natural environments for health. While health promotion is designated along the lines of encouraging choice or improving access to natural environments this paper wants to show how physical activities are intertwined with atmospheres and affects emanating from the natural and human world. An indepth case-study of trail running across two sites (New Zealand, United Kingdom) is used to analyse the interconnections between health-landscapes. It finds that when participants say that landscape ‘matters’ for health, they are referring to: i) aesthetics and feelings ii) flexibility and adaptiveness iii) exploration and adventure. Avoiding the conclusion that the landscape is merely a resource for health, the analysis confirms that it is the complex of spaces, social practices, along with their physical fleshy selves, minds and emotions, and the particular quality of the earth beneath them, that gives rise to positively perceived health, for both immediate and enduring benefit.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 1363-4593
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 May 2018
Date of Acceptance: 15 May 2018
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 13:57

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