Legrand and colleagues have learned that exercising is good for the mental wellbeing of depressed people, whether those depressed people exercise indoors or outside. The research team determined that “short bouts [20 minutes long] of moderate-to-vigorous exercise [running at moderate intensity] were effective in improving feelings of energy among people with depressive symptoms. . . . the positive effects of exercise on feelings of energy did not depend on whether exercise took place in an outdoor nature setting or an indoor gym. . . . Improvements did not statistically differ between outdoor and indoor exercise.” This research indicates the value of encouraging exercise via design, whether indoor or outdoor options/possibilities are available.
Fabien Legrand, Maximilian Race, and Matthew Herring. “Acute Effects of Outdoor and Indoor Exercise on Feelings of Energy and Fatigue in People with Depressive Symptoms.” Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press, doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2018.03.005