Home » Call for community: improving cardiovascular health with nature-based physical activity

Call for community: improving cardiovascular health with nature-based physical activity

Guy Hazlewood and Vicky Sullivan, UQ at Springfield    March 27, 2024    3 min read   

UQ at Springfield is asking community members who live in Greater Springfield to join our research project so that we can explore ways to support people who might be at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. 

Being active in nature supports our physical, mental, and social health in many ways, with opportunities to improve fitness, and ample shady space to connect with others for a fun time. 

Walking together, picking up the pace with a jogging group, or joining a community gardening scheme are great ways to engage with nature and boost cardiovascular health at the same time. 

We are so lucky in Greater Springfield to live close to nature, where parklands, lakes, and green open spaces are an integral part of the city. 

Nature-based physical activity is good for the mind too. It reduces feelings of stress, boosts our mood, and improves our ability to concentrate.

So how can we support even more people to connect with nature and experience these benefits?

Joining in means taking part in focus groups and workshops and sharing your views and experiences on a range of topics. 

The aim is to build knowledge about nature-based physical activity and its benefits for cardiovascular health while connecting people with community-based activities.

Can you help with this project? 

We would love to speak to people who are physically inactive and who also have another risk factor that may increase their chance of developing cardiovascular diseases. 

Being physically inactive means not reaching the minimum recommendation of 2.5 hours (150 mins) a week of moderate intensity physical activity (e.g., brisk walking, mowing the lawn, or swimming). 

Other factors that may increase your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood cholesterol, living in a larger body/higher weight, experiencing low mood, or feeling socially isolated or lonely.

So, if your physical activity levels are a bit on the low side and you have another risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, do get in touch so that we can involve you in our study. We are also partnering with community-based activity providers and healthcare professionals so that, together, we can create resources and connections to improve cardiovascular health in our community.

Email or phone researcher Vicky Sullivan if you would like further information and to register your interest in this project. The University of Queensland Ethics Number for this project is 2023/HE002228.

Starting from April 8, members can join in the In Step with Nature weekly walk held through the Heart Foundation, meeting at 7:15 am on the bridge at John Nugent Way, Robelle Domain Parklands.

For more information, email  victoria.sullivan@uq.edu.au or visit walking.heartfoundation.org.au/walking/group/in-step-with-nature

Robelle Domain Parklands. Source: Vicky Sullivan
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Guy Hazlewood and Vicky Sullivan, UQ at Springfield