Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Carol Weideman

Second Advisor

Michele McGrady


Purpose: The pilot study was done to evaluate the effects of green exercise on mental wellbeing using the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSE) and the Abbreviated Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaires. Green exercise is participating in physical activity in natural or vegetated environments (2). Running in a park, hiking, cycling, and doing yoga on the beach are some examples of green exercise. Previous research has focused on health and mental wellbeing benefits in the adult population and has shown positive outcomes. The data collected included mood, stress levels, and self-esteem. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a single bout of exercise in university students enrolled in a physical activity class.

Method: Participants (N = 14) completed the RSE and POMS questionnaires pre and post 35 minutes of self-selected intensity exercise performed on a 400m track during a single class session.

Results: Self-esteem and mood improved from pre to post surveys. The average of the pre RSE score was 33.2 ± 6.1 and the average post RSE score was 35.9 ± 3.4. The average of the pre total mood disturbance (TMD) was 86.9 ± 16.8 and the average of the post TMD values was 79.6 ± 12.7.

Conclusion: A single bout of green exercise has a positive impact on mean self-esteem for both RSE and POMS, with a trend of improvement for individual scores. The individual subscales of the POMS have positive impacts from the pre and post surveys. There were outliers in each of the subscales of the POMS questionnaire that may have been due to uncontrolled factors, but the majority of participants showed improvements.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted