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dc.contributor.authorOliver, David M.en_UK
dc.contributor.authorMcDougall, Craig W.en_UK
dc.contributor.authorRobertson, Tonyen_UK
dc.contributor.authorGrant, Blairen_UK
dc.contributor.authorHanley, Nicken_UK
dc.contributor.authorQuilliam, Richard S.en_UK
dc.contributor.editorMeena, Dharmendra Kumaren_UK
dc.description.abstractEngaging with natural environments benefits human health by providing opportunities for social interactions, enhancing mental wellbeing and enabling outdoor spaces for physical exercise. Open water swimming has seen a rapid increase in popularity, partly due to the physical health benefits it can provide but also with the growing interest in (re)connecting with nature for environment-health interactions. Using a national-scale online survey of 717 open water swimmers, the aim of this study was to investigate patterns and trends in the perceived benefits and risks of open water swimming to both public health and the environment; and to understand whether these perceived risks and benefits vary across different typologies of swimmers and open water, or ‘blue space’, environments. Strong associations were found between the most important self-reported benefit associated with open water swimming and both participant age and the categorisation of their typical swim style. All but one of the age-groups surveyed perceived mental wellbeing benefits to be the most important benefit of open water swimming; whilst those aged over 65 identified physical rather than mental wellbeing benefits to be the most important outcome. Participants who preferred lake swimming reported greater concern regarding possible environmental damage caused by the increasing popularity of open water swimming compared to those engaging in river or sea swimming. However, the majority of participants perceived the risks to the environment from open water swimming to be minimal. Our study adds to the growing evidence that open water swimming is perceived by participants as benefitting their mental and physical wellbeing. Improved understanding of the benefits and risks of engaging with blue spaces used for open water swimming can contribute to co-designed policy development to promote safer, healthier and more sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities associated with this increasingly popular outdoor pursuit.en_UK
dc.publisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)en_UK
dc.relationOliver DM, McDougall CW, Robertson T, Grant B, Hanley N & Quilliam RS (2023) Self-reported benefits and risks of open water swimming to health, wellbeing and the environment: Cross-sectional evidence from a survey of Scottish swimmers. Meena DK (Editor) <i>PLOS ONE</i>, 18 (8), p. e0290834.
dc.rightsThis is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.en_UK
dc.titleSelf-reported benefits and risks of open water swimming to health, wellbeing and the environment: Cross-sectional evidence from a survey of Scottish swimmersen_UK
dc.typeJournal Articleen_UK
dc.citation.jtitlePLoS ONEen_UK
dc.type.statusVoR - Version of Recorden_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Edinburghen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Glasgowen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationBiological and Environmental Sciencesen_UK
dc.subject.tagPublic Healthen_UK
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen_UK
local.rioxx.authorOliver, David M.|0000-0002-6200-562Xen_UK
local.rioxx.authorMcDougall, Craig W.|en_UK
local.rioxx.authorRobertson, Tony|0000-0002-1962-5874en_UK
local.rioxx.authorGrant, Blair|en_UK
local.rioxx.authorHanley, Nick|en_UK
local.rioxx.authorQuilliam, Richard S.|0000-0001-7020-4410en_UK
local.rioxx.projectInternal Project|University of Stirling|
local.rioxx.contributorMeena, Dharmendra Kumar|en_UK
local.rioxx.filenameOliver et al.pdfen_UK
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