The idea for a ‘Green Gym’ was thought up by Dr William Bird of the Sonning Common Medical centre. Once set up the effects the Green Gym had on the participants were monitored by Veronica Reynolds of Oxford Brookes University. In her study of these first participants, she found the effects of the gym were both preventative and curative of both physical and mental conditions.
She found that up to 1/3 more calories were burnt during some activities by participants than if they’d been taking part in a step aerobics class! People 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, felt fitter and had more energy than before they started going to the green gym, and had a general feeling of well-being, which was enhanced by being in the fresh air and working in natural surroundings.
A copy of Veronica Reynolds study of the effects of the green gym can be obtained from Oxford Brookes University Publications.
The Green Gym: An Evaluation of a Pilot Project in Sonning Common, Oxfordshire
ISBN No: 1 902606 05 1 1999