"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Girls and girls need more time in nature to remain healthy.

Supporting women and girls of their efforts to be physically lively should change into a universal. A public health priority. Preliminary results from our research at Dalhousie University suggest that access to nature will be the key to achieving this.

A recent study in Collected global data from the past 15 years and show consistent and alarming trends: women are getting insufficient physical activity, and the gap between women's and men's activity levels is widening.

Similar trends are observed amongst girls aged 12 to 17. Two percent of Canadians meet the requirements of the 24-hour movement guidelines. – which incorporates adequate sleep and a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity.

Our own A review of the evidence It also found that girls have complex relationships with physical activity, requiring ongoing negotiation of gender roles and stereotypes. They should navigate cultural narratives centered on “the body” in lots of parts of their lives each day. They are expected to be beautiful but natural looking, thin but not too thin, fit but not too muscular.

We are currently engaged in research to explore the health of adolescent girls and young women through a way. Photovoiceduring which participants take photographs to represent their experiences.

Flowers, trees and water

In this study we asked seven research participants to take photographs to explore their health, nutrition, and physical activity experiences and produce them back to a gaggle for discussion, and search for themes or trends.

A participant shows among the photos they submitted.
(Kylie Nunn Photography), Provided by the creator.

They found themes related to difficult norms and stereotypes and the importance of social support and trust. She discussed her perception that “everything is gendered” and that there are activities that girls “should” do. They spoke of sometimes feeling excluded from boy-dominated sports, and of the expectations of what girls should wear while being lively.

They also discussed how they challenge these norms. Girls, for instance, were photographed engaging in unconventional physical activities comparable to climbing trees in aerial circus silks and skirts. They also emphasized the importance of support from family and friends to feel protected in difficult norms. There was also a surprising finding: They emphasized being outside in nature.

Although nature and the environment weren’t a part of the intended research objective, being outdoors emerged as vital. Many girls and young women shared images of natural elements, comparable to flowers, trees and water.

A photograph of a tree submitted by a research participant.
Provided by the creator.

They also took pictures of themselves, their friends and families engaged in physical activity outside. This often includes general lively outdoor play, but in addition, particularly, activities comparable to mountaineering and camping.

We learned that nature provided vital contexts for these girls and young women to feel comfortable, protected, and assured in navigating complex gender norms around physical activity.

Safe spaces outside.

A recent review suggests that, as a consequence of urbanization and parental fear, Young people are less connected to nature than ever before. and consequently miss out on health advantages.

Photo of a flower submitted by a research participant.
Provided by the creator.

This trend is replicated in popular culture, with Books, songs and movies that show nature as little as possible over time..

Similarly, large-scale surveys within the US show that Young people spend more time with technology than nature. But it also indicates that they value their time with nature and wish more opportunities for that connection.

With the United Nations Recent Alerts Given that we only have a decade left to reverse climate change without catastrophic consequences, engagement with nature has never been more vital. This could be done by encouraging outdoor play, supporting lively transportation and providing protected spaces for girls and girls to participate.

Achieving gender equality

Interestingly, The evidence suggests That Women face obstacles. To experience nature.

Gendered expectations, fear of their safety and objectification, and feelings of vulnerability mean to women and girls. Negotiate these feelings to participate in outdoor recreation..

Photo of a woman climbing a tree submitted by a research participant.
Provided by the creator.

Achieving gender equality is a vital challenge for the twenty first century, which has been reinforced by the United Nations. Sustainable Development Goalswhich also highlights the importance of nature, environment, sustainability and health.

The advantages of physical activity for mental and physical health are vast, but half the population doesn't realize them. Studies are starting to explore. Sex and OutWhile The importance of nature for women is increasing rapidly..

But more must be done to find out how this finding can support gender equality. Nature is very important for health promotion. An emerging trend in researchand the visitor's focus International Union for Health Promotion and Education Conference.

Could nature be the important thing to promoting physical activity amongst women and girls? More research is required to know obviously, nevertheless it actually shows promise.