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    Walking in snowy landscape increases body satisfaction

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Spending time in a snowy environment improves well-being and walking in a snow-covered forest translates into greater satisfaction with one’s body, researchers from the Silesian Medical University in Katowice have shown.

    Previous studies have already shown that green areas, such as parks and forests, as well as so-called blue surroundings, i.e., the coast or proximity to a river, can improve one’s body image.

    The latest study by Dr Kamila Czepczor-Bernat’s team, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/21/14548), added ‘white spaces’ to the mix, so among other things a snow-covered forest.

    The experiment was conducted last winter. 87 women with an average age of 24 walked in the snowy Cyganski Las located in the southern part of Bielsko-Biała. Before and after the walk, the researchers asked the participants how they assessed their bodies. In addition, they also took measurements of their connection to nature and level of self-compassion before walking.

    “Of particular importance is that we were able to demonstrate this effect in wintry conditions, in a group setting, and in a hitherto neglected national setting, which suggests that these effects may be relatively robust (…) More generally, the present findings highlight the importance of ensuring that populations have access to restorative natural environments, which may be a cost-effective means of promoting healthier body image,”

    one can read in an article entitled “The Impact of a Woodland Walk on Body Image: A Field Experiment and an Assessment of Dispositional and Environmental Determinants.”

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