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Spreading the word on the health benefits of wild swimming

Source: University of Nottingham 22.03.22



A new project to encourage more people to reap the health benefits of ‘wild swimming’ has been launched by a group of researchers at the University of Nottingham.

Wild swimming has had a surge in popularity in the UK over the past few years, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the benefits to physical and mental health are now well-documented. Numerous studies have shown this type of swimming in cold water in a natural environment can boost not only fitness, but greatly improve mood, reduce tension, negativity, and depression.

However, information about, and access to, natural ‘blue spaces’ such as rivers, lakes, or the sea, tend to be local and disparate and not on the radar of wider communities, in both cities and rural areas.

The research team at Nottingham consists of linguistics and placed-based literature experts, with health policy and freshwater ecosystem specialists. They will work with a long list of partners including Cardiff University, Swim England and the Black Swimming Association, to pull together a comprehensive overview and toolkit on the mental and physical health benefits of wild swimming as well as guidance on the risks related to water quality and safety of specific swimming spots in the UK.

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