The science of connection through adventure

Australian families are spending less time outdoors and in nature.

According to Outdoor Opportunities, a recent report by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, not even one in 10 young people aged between 13-17 are physically active for at least one hour per day.

To me, this is shocking and alarming. It says a lot about why our young people are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.

Evidence-based research demonstrates that when people spend time in the outdoors and in nature, they are happier, healthier, smarter, more self-disciplined and focused. They are more self-confident, creative and cooperative, are better problem solvers, more optimistic and more physically fit. Family ties are strengthened, a sense of community is nourished, and a sense of place is cultivated.

In other parts of the world, Adventure Therapy (also known as Wilderness Therapy or Bush Adventure Therapy), is a  alternative option for traditional therapy and provide a more holistic approach than the traditional four walls of an office.

Doctors in Scotland have been prescribing nature to their patients since 2018. This approach is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK and seeks to reduce blood pressure, anxiety and increase happiness for those with diabetes, mental illness, stress, heart disease and more.

Living with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, I know how beneficial the outdoors can be in helping to manage my health and wellbeing. I have and will continue to advocate for the benefits of nature and being active outdoors and hope to see Australia prescribing nature as part of people’s mental health care plans such as in Scotland.

By participating in Adventure Connections experiences, participants have the opportunity to disconnect from the stresses of everyday, reconnect with what’s important and build social connections with others, whilst improving their health and wellbeing by being active outdoors and in nature.

There are so many options for different levels of engagement out there, including paddling, hiking, orienteering, camping, expeditions or just sitting by a stream.

It’s about trying new things and overcoming challenges to pursue what sets your soul on fire. Partnered with the right support it will have a positive effect and potentially change lives forever.

So why not take a step outside of your comfort zone, and let’s go on an adventure outside today.