The idea for a ‘Green Gym’ was conceived over 20 year ago by Dr William Bird of Sonning Common health centre. Once it had been established, the effects and benefits that the Green Gym activities had on the participants were investigated and monitored by Veronica Reynolds of Oxford Brookes University. In her primary study of these first participants, she demonstrated that the effects of being an active member of the Green Gym were both preventative and curative of both physical and mental conditions.
She also found that up to ⅓ more calories were burnt during some activities by participants than if they’d been taking part in a step aerobics class of the same duration! Members who regularly attended the Green Gym increased their bone density, and so were less at risk of osteoporosis. They also reported finding day to day activities easier, they felt fitter and had more energy than before they started attending the Green Gym. Regular attendees had a general feeling of well-being, which was further enhanced by being in the fresh air, working in natural surroundings and being a member of a social group.
A copy of Veronica Reynolds study of the effects of the green gym can be viewed in the Journal “Voluntary Action”, Volume 2, Number 2, Spring 2000, Oxford Brookes University Publications.