By Claire Sapp, Physiological Sciences ; Claire Middlecamp, Health Sciences; Sheylyn Taus, Health Sciences
Advisor: Kari Dunning
Abstract: Spending time in nature has been shown to have positive health benefits. The benefits of one-day outdoor experiences are less known. A community organization - The Camping and Education Foundation (CEF) - works with inner-city schools to conduct one-day outdoor wilderness experiences for youth (Urban Wilderness Program, UWP). The purpose of this project was to assess the UWP one day wilderness experience among Cincinnati youth grades 5 to 7. The hypothesis was that a one-day outdoor experience will improve affinity to nature and mood. METHODS: During Fall Semester 2019, CEF conducted five outdoor experiences either in Burnett Woods or Otto Armleder Park. Each day involved different groups resulting in a total of 164 youth. Of those 164 youth, 128 completed both a PRE and POST test. Changes in outcomes from PRE and POST included affinity to nature, feelings (confidence, mood, energy level) in nature vs outdoors and their preference to be in nature vs indoors. In the PRE survey, youth were asked how much time they spend on average outside in nature every week. In the POST survey, youth were asked about their experience during their UWP day outdoors including open-ended questions. RESULTS: Data is being analyzed using paired t-tests.