The Effects of Surfing and the Natural Environment on the Well-Being of Combat Veterans

Caddick, Nick and Smith, Brett and Phoenix, Cassandra (2015) The Effects of Surfing and the Natural Environment on the Well-Being of Combat Veterans. Qualitative Health Research, 25 (1). pp. 76-86. ISSN 1552-7557

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Although researchers have identified the benefits of physical activity on well-being, there is little evidence concerning the effects of nature-based physical activity. We investigated the effect of one nature-based activity—surfing—on the well-being of combat veterans experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We conducted interviews and participant observations with a group of combat veterans belonging to a United Kingdom-based veterans’ surfing charity. Our primary analytical approach was dialogical narrative analysis. Based on our rigorous analysis and findings, we suggest that surfing facilitated a sense of respite from PTSD. Respite was a fully embodied feeling of release from suffering that was cultivated through surfing and shaped by the stories veterans told of their experiences. We significantly extend previous knowledge on physical activity, combat veterans, and PTSD by highlighting how naturebased physical activity, encapsulated in the conceptual notion of the “blue gym,” can promote well-being among combat veterans.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information:
Keywords: exercise/physical activity, health and wellbeing, masculinity, narrative inquiry, phenomenology, posttraumatic stress disorder
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Nick Caddick
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2016 09:05
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:15

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