Date: 5th Jan 2016
A Professor in the Sociology of Sport and Leisure at Bucks, who is particularly interested in ageing well through active leisure, says a book she has co-edited shines a light on the health and wellbeing benefits of the great outdoors.
Professor Barbara Humberstone is one of three co-editors of the Routledge International Handbook of Outdoor Studies, which contains 49 chapters from experts around the world on subjects including outdoor recreation and education, adventure education, environmental studies, physical culture studies and leisure studies, as well as nature-based sport and outdoor and environmental education.
The outdoor sports it focuses on include walking, rambling, kayaking, and sailing. Outdoor education focuses on personal, social and environmental education.
Prof Humberstone said: "I believe this book is crucial in addressing environmental and social justice issues that are so important today. Research shows that being outdoors in nature increases the sense of wellbeing and makes you feel good and actually improves physical and mental health.
"I hope the book will heighten awareness of the power of nature and the health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in natural environments.
"Outdoor Studies is an emerging field and I am part of an international network of researchers, academics and practitioners. We have put together a comprehensive, significant and insightful book that draws together the various aspects of outdoor studies, particularly significant in this time of global warming, erosion of the natural environment and climate change talks.
"Nature-based sport and physical activity are vital in maintaining and promoting the health and wellbeing of people and communities in life-long learning."
The other editors are Professor Karla Henderson, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management at North Carolina State University in the USA, and Associate Professor Heather Prince, who works in Outdoor and Environmental Education in the Department of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies at the University of Cumbria.
Prof Humberstone is also one of the leading organisers of the annual Ageing Well Conference at Bucks New University, which features lectures and presentations delivered by an international team of academics specialising in health and wellbeing, gerontology, projects with older people, physical activity, and sport and leisure.
She has edited and co-edited two books examining issues surrounding older people and physical activity and co-edited a book on Seascapes.
Read more about Prof Humberstone's work at www.bucks.ac.uk/whoswho/profile/barbara_humberstone.