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dc.contributor.authorMcDougall, Craig Wen_UK
dc.contributor.authorFoley, Ronanen_UK
dc.contributor.authorHanley, Nicken_UK
dc.contributor.authorQuilliam, Richard Sen_UK
dc.contributor.authorOliver, David Men_UK
dc.description.abstractSpending time in or around bodies of water or ‘blue spaces’ can benefit human health and well-being. A growing body of evidence suggests immersion in blue space, e.g., participating in ‘wild’ swimming, can be particularly beneficial for both physical and mental health. To date, wild swimming and health research has primarily focused on the experience of individuals who swim in the sea. Empirical studies of the health-promoting potential of swimming in freshwater environments, such as lochs and lakes, are lacking, despite the popularity of this practice in many countries and the vastly different physical and hydrological properties of freshwater and coastal environments. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between loch (lake) swimming and health and well-being for adults living in Scotland and determine the importance of perceptions of place and risk in this relationship. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve wild swimmers who regularly swim in lochs in Scotland. Interview data were analysed thematically using Nvivo. The findings suggest loch swimming has a variety of health and well-being benefits that can be categorised over three domains of health: physical, mental and social. Of these domains, mental health benefits e.g., mindfulness promotion, resilience building and increasing one’s ability to listen to their body, were particularly prominent. Our findings also highlight important physical and hydrological characteristics of loch environments, e.g., calm water conditions (relative to the sea), which contribute to positive wild swimming experiences. Finally, the perceived risks of loch swimming and mitigation strategies for these risks are established. Collectively, our findings further support the notion that wild swimming is a unique health-promoting practice. Our findings also highlight differences (in terms of experience and perceived risk) between swimming in freshwater and coastal environments, which can inform public health and water management policy.en_UK
dc.relationMcDougall CW, Foley R, Hanley N, Quilliam RS & Oliver DM (2022) Freshwater Wild Swimming, Health and Well-Being: Understanding the Importance of Place and Risk. Sustainability, 14 (10), Art. No.: 6364.
dc.rights© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
dc.subjectblue spaceen_UK
dc.subjectmental healthen_UK
dc.titleFreshwater Wild Swimming, Health and Well-Being: Understanding the Importance of Place and Risken_UK
dc.typeJournal Articleen_UK
dc.type.statusVoR - Version of Recorden_UK
dc.contributor.funderScottish Governmenten_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationNational University of Ireland - Maynoothen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Glasgowen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
rioxxterms.apcfully waiveden_UK
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen_UK
local.rioxx.authorMcDougall, Craig W|en_UK
local.rioxx.authorFoley, Ronan|en_UK
local.rioxx.authorHanley, Nick|en_UK
local.rioxx.authorQuilliam, Richard S|0000-0001-7020-4410en_UK
local.rioxx.authorOliver, David M|0000-0002-6200-562Xen_UK
local.rioxx.projectProject ID unknown|Scottish Government|
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles

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