nature gyms & ‘green’ exercise
Have you ever noticed that sense of calm that washes over you when sitting on a beach watching the waves roll in, or relaxing under a tree deep in a forest while breathing in those positive phytoncides in the air?
Nature has a powerful impact on our mood and mental wellbeing, a fundamental concept behind the approach of biophilic design which integrates nature into the built environment for similar functional health benefits.
How? By combining healthy, nature-inspired and sustainable design principles into one.
what is biophilic design doing in a gym or spa?
The objective of using biophilia in an indoor gym or spa is to offer a powerful connection to nature through an abundance of plants, natural toxin-free materials in lieu of nasty synthetics; organic shapes with a wabi-sari (imperfectly beautiful) finish and a soothing palette of beiges, greens and browns. We have covered the benefits of training outdoor here and we remain devoted believers in spending time outdoors whenever possible!
Taken together though, all of these design techniques can create an indoor environment with remnants of the great outdoors even in a dense urban context where access to nature may be inherently limited. Layer in a spa treatment or natural fitness workout on top though and the health benefits start to become truly compelling.
health benefits of biophilia
In 2017, Biofit commissioned the first scientific study into what is termed as “indoor green exercise”. Conducted by the UKActive Research Institute and University of Essex Green Exercise Group, it ran over four weeks at the Biofit pop-up gym in London with a total of 118 participants taking a natural fitness session.
Each responded to a ‘before and after’ questionnaire, with the following results:
- 75% felt less stressed after their session
- 80% reported feeling more connected to nature
- 87% found an improvement in positive mood state
- An average enjoyment level of 91/100
By changing how a gym or indeed spa looks and feels, we can thus increase client satisfaction and boost overall enjoyment whilst ensuring happier, healthier members who feel connected to nature.
why use a biophilic gym design?
Biophilic design and green exercise is a suitable eco-friendly solution for gyms of 25sq. metres up to 1000sq. metres. While smaller spaces are ideal for focused, small group and personal training, larger facilities can offer an array of training equipment, outdoor obstacles and a variety of zones to cover strength, cardio, movement and mobility.