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What is friluftsliv and how could it help people’s wellbeing during the COVID-19 era?
By Megan Whitby 05 Oct 2020
Research published in 2015 went so far as to call natural areas
The pandemic’s outbreak caused many people to use time in nature as a coping mechanism and an outlet to deal with the global health crisis and subsequent lockdown.

In Scandinavia, time outdoors is passionately encouraged and even celebrated, using the philosophy of ‘friluftsliv’ which is deeply rooted in the nation’s history.

The term was originally coined by Norwegian poet, Henrik Ibsen, who used the term to describe the ‘value of spending time in remote locations for spiritual and physical wellbeing’, according to BBC Worklife.

Translated loosely as ‘open-air living’, friluftsliv is the Scandinavian concept of celebrating the outdoors and the important connection between humans and nature.

Prior to COVID-19, the increasingly urbanised and fast-paced world made it harder for people to both easily access natural spaces and make time to explore them.

However, growing numbers of people are spending more time outdoors and it seems this could have the potential to improve physical and mental health too, with scientists providing a host of evidence to support that nature is beneficial for wellbeing.

For example, research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology in 2003 indicated that trees and woodlands can have a healing effect on the mind, while a 2010 study by scientists at the University of Essex’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society found that regular nature walks can improve mental wellness.

Another article – published in 2015 with American Academy of the Sciences – even went so far as to call natural areas "vital for mental health".

With this in mind, friluftsliv could become a driver to help people sustain their wellbeing using nature during the pandemic and potential future lockdowns. It could be used as a celebratory concept to inspire people to spend even more time outdoors and take it up with a newfound enthusiasm.

As spas have reopened, many have begun embracing the outdoors, with Glen Ivy Hot Springs offering outdoor treatments and Lefay’s Lake Garda resort launching guided wellness retreats in nature.

"Even before COVID-19, more and more academic studies were highlighting the benefits of prescribing a connection with nature and the great outdoors,” said Dr Carlo Barbieri, president of Lefay’s Spa Method Scientific Committee.

“Physical issues such as joint pain and obesity as well as mental states of anxiety and depression are all proven to benefit from connection with nature and outdoor activities.”


News
1 to 12 of 7718 news stories
01 Mar 2021
Kempinski Hotels has completed the acquisition of Resense Spa SA as part of the expansion of its wellness and wellbeing strategy. Resense, which was originally founded as a joint venture between Kempinski and spa consultancy ... More
01 Mar 2021
The Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition (APSWC) has unveiled new details about its upcoming 2021 Round Table Conference, scheduled for 15-17 March. The annual event always produces a white paper that pinpoints the region’s ... More
28 Feb 2021
Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has expanded its portfolio with a new eco-wellness resort in Mantiqueira, Brazil, nestled amongst flourishing forests and situated at the meeting of three valleys. Six Senses Botanique was opened after ... More
25 Feb 2021
Baca Architects has submitted a scheme to transform an unused UK quarry lake and surrounding land into a unique eco-wellness resort centred on waterside living and water-based recreation. The 80-hectare Ashwicken Lake site is situated ... More
24 Feb 2021
The Hot Springs Connection has announced its third-annual conference is scheduled to take place in person at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort in Paradise, Montana, on May 17-20 2021. Established in 2018, the convention is claimed ... More
24 Feb 2021
The iconic Beverly Hills Hotel Spa in Los Angeles has reopened its doors after seven months of extensive refurbishment and redesign. Christopher Cowdray, CEO of the Dorchester Collection – luxury operating company of the Beverly ... More
23 Feb 2021
US-based skincare company Heyday has announced a US$20m (£14.2m €16.5m) Series B round of funding led by Level 5 Capital Partners (L5), with participation from existing investors Lerer Hippeau and Fifth Wall Ventures. Heyday has ... More
22 Feb 2021
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced non-essential retail, including spas, salons, close-contact services and gyms, could reopen by 12 April 2021, at the very earliest. Johnson revealed the news today as part of step ... More
22 Feb 2021
A collection of industry organisations, including The British Beauty Council, are working closely with the UK Government to present proposals for a package of industry-saving measures. These include a VAT cut for reopened salon and ... More
22 Feb 2021
Luxury Hawaiian wellness enclave, Sensei Lāna‘i, A Four Seasons Resort has launched an Optimal Wellbeing Programme in partnership with WHOOP, the human performance and wearable tech company. Located at the island resort on Lāna‘i, the ... More
18 Feb 2021
Aman is planning to debut its sister hotel brand Janu in the heart of Tokyo in an urban redevelopment project, called Toranomon-Azabudai development. Janu was unveiled in 2020 with a fresh philosophy based on social ... More
19 Feb 2021
As evidence grows around nature’s wellbeing and health benefits, the team behind the UK’s Lost Gardens of Heligan has created an initiative to demonstrate how its guests can harness nature to boost wellbeing. Heligan has ... More
     
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NEWS
What is friluftsliv and how could it help people’s wellbeing during the COVID-19 era?
POSTED 05 Oct 2020 . BY Megan Whitby
Research published in 2015 went so far as to call natural areas "vital for mental health" Credit: Shutterstock/Dzmitrock
Even before COVID-19, more and more academic studies were highlighting the benefits of prescribing a connection with nature and the great outdoors
– Carlo Barbieri
The pandemic’s outbreak caused many people to use time in nature as a coping mechanism and an outlet to deal with the global health crisis and subsequent lockdown.

In Scandinavia, time outdoors is passionately encouraged and even celebrated, using the philosophy of ‘friluftsliv’ which is deeply rooted in the nation’s history.

The term was originally coined by Norwegian poet, Henrik Ibsen, who used the term to describe the ‘value of spending time in remote locations for spiritual and physical wellbeing’, according to BBC Worklife.

Translated loosely as ‘open-air living’, friluftsliv is the Scandinavian concept of celebrating the outdoors and the important connection between humans and nature.

Prior to COVID-19, the increasingly urbanised and fast-paced world made it harder for people to both easily access natural spaces and make time to explore them.

However, growing numbers of people are spending more time outdoors and it seems this could have the potential to improve physical and mental health too, with scientists providing a host of evidence to support that nature is beneficial for wellbeing.

For example, research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology in 2003 indicated that trees and woodlands can have a healing effect on the mind, while a 2010 study by scientists at the University of Essex’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Environment and Society found that regular nature walks can improve mental wellness.

Another article – published in 2015 with American Academy of the Sciences – even went so far as to call natural areas "vital for mental health".

With this in mind, friluftsliv could become a driver to help people sustain their wellbeing using nature during the pandemic and potential future lockdowns. It could be used as a celebratory concept to inspire people to spend even more time outdoors and take it up with a newfound enthusiasm.

As spas have reopened, many have begun embracing the outdoors, with Glen Ivy Hot Springs offering outdoor treatments and Lefay’s Lake Garda resort launching guided wellness retreats in nature.

"Even before COVID-19, more and more academic studies were highlighting the benefits of prescribing a connection with nature and the great outdoors,” said Dr Carlo Barbieri, president of Lefay’s Spa Method Scientific Committee.

“Physical issues such as joint pain and obesity as well as mental states of anxiety and depression are all proven to benefit from connection with nature and outdoor activities.”
RELATED STORIES
Historic English secret garden reveals wellbeing toolkit to encourage healing with nature


As evidence grows around nature’s wellbeing and health benefits, the team behind the UK’s Lost Gardens of Heligan has created an initiative to demonstrate how its guests can harness nature to boost wellbeing.
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Banyan Tree Group has announced it’s rolling out three groupwide initiatives to promote staff wellbeing, in particular mental health, during COVID-19 and beyond.
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MORE NEWS
Kempinski buys Resense Spa as shareholders exit
Kempinski Hotels has completed the acquisition of Resense Spa SA as part of the expansion of its wellness and wellbeing strategy.
Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition gears up for first virtual Round Table in March 2021
The Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition (APSWC) has unveiled new details about its upcoming 2021 Round Table Conference, scheduled for 15-17 March.
Six Senses transforms Brazilian resort previously backed by co-founders of The Body Shop and AOL
Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has expanded its portfolio with a new eco-wellness resort in Mantiqueira, Brazil, nestled amongst flourishing forests and situated at the meeting of three valleys.
Baca Architects submits scheme for floating eco-wellness sanctuary and spa
Baca Architects has submitted a scheme to transform an unused UK quarry lake and surrounding land into a unique eco-wellness resort centred on waterside living and water- based recreation.
Montana hot springs resort unveils new bathing area in time to host global hot springs convention
The Hot Springs Connection conference is scheduled to take place in person at Quinn’s Hot Springs Resort in Paradise, Montana, on May 17-20 2021.
Beverly Hills Hotel unveils newly renovated spa with design details by Champalimaud Design
The iconic Beverly Hills Hotel Spa in Los Angeles has reopened its doors after seven months of extensive refurbishment and redesign.
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