Although strong evidence shows that physical inactivity and sedentary behavior are associated with many negative health outcomes, inactive lifestyles are still increasing. Consequently, new approaches must be developed to increase adherence to an active lifestyle and hence a longer life. Green exercise and health coaching could be effective ways to induce long-lasting lifestyle changes geared towards more physical activity. In this randomized controlled trial, we investigated the effects of mountain hiking and psychological coaching on adults with a sedentary lifestyle. The coaching group (n = 26) participated in a 7-day guided hiking program with three personal coaching sessions, whereas the hiking group (n = 32) received no coaching. The effects on aerobic capacity, spirometry and quality of life were assessed at baseline (day 0), after the intervention week (day 7) and after 80 days. Fully nonparametric statistical analysis revealed a gender-based effect for aerobic capacity-the female participants of the coaching group showed a greater improvement (p = 0.03) than the hiking group. No significant effects were found for spirometry. Quality of life parameters improved in both groups. In conclusion, both green exercise and health coaching are capable of inducing improvements in health-related quality of life and cardiorespiratory fitness. No superior effects of health coaching were found.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Quality of Life
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