Our Outdoors Project

Our Outdoors’ is a citizen science project which aims to contribute to public understanding of how shared outdoor spaces can affect our health and wellbeing. The project will also explore whether specific spaces affect people’s health and wellbeing differently and if so, why?

In this project, we need people like you, to get involved and help us learn about a range of local outdoor spaces. From streets and town squares to beaches, public parks and beyond. Any spaces can be included as long as they are outside and freely open to anyone (e.g. not a private garden).

Citizen science is when members of the public like you and your community are involved in conducting scientific research. Most often members of the public (or citizen scientists) work with researchers on a research project.

There are different ways for the public to become involved in citizen science, ranging from:

  • Collecting data (e.g. counting birds in your garden and filling out a survey),
  • Helping to identify topics for research,
  • Analysing the data
  • Feeding back the results to your local community and/or community representatives. 

The Our Outdoors survey

The survey has been designed to capture how various aspects of outdoor spaces affect our health and wellbeing. It has been designed by both public health researchers at the University of Edinburgh and members of the public through a series of workshops and public engagement activities. The survey draws both on existing evidence available in scientific literature as well as the views and experiences of citizens.

Find out more about the project at Ouroutdoors.org.uk

RESOURCES

The About Our Outdoors poster

Findings from Community Workshops

Our Outdoors at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

Science Bus

 

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UPDATE: The ‘Healthy University of the Future’ hackathon


In partnership with University Sport and Exercise and the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC), SCPHRP ran an event during the Festival of Creative Learning to get students to think about health in the university setting and to design solutions to health challenges facing students.
Two teams of students worked on diverse health topics. One team focused on provision of affordable, convenient and healthy food options and the other team focused on targeting computer-related health. Both teams delivered excellent presentations in front of a panel of university and national leaders in public health and student wellbeing and prizes were awarded for innovation, potential for implementation, team work, and quality of presentation.
For further information about the event please email Yvonne Laird at yvonne.laird@ed.ac.uk
A hackathon is a timed competition-style event where teams are expected to get creative and work collaboratively and come up with a design or idea.

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A relaxation resource for kinship carers

Our goal

Our goal was to design a support resource for kinship carers. Kinship carers – often grandparents – are family members who take care of children when the birth-parents are no longer able to care for them due to circumstances such as ill-health, addiction, abuse or bereavement. The kinship carers are often from deprived communities and face numerous hardships, both generally and as a result of their role as kinship carers.

The resource

We worked closely with kinship carers and with organisation Mentor (http://mentoruk.org.uk/mentor-scotland/ ) to design the resource. We learned about the kinship carers’ lives and what issues they faced. A main issue reported was stress. Therefore we designed tailored stress-relief relaxation techniques.   By reducing stress and improving the wellbeing of the carers we hoped that both the relationship between the carer and the teenager, as well as the wellbeing of the teenager, would improve.

The benefits of the resource

The kinship carers have reported that the relaxation skills had a positive stress-reduction effect on them and a positive impact on their relationship with their teenager.

Summary of the relaxation process

  1. Focus the mind here and now
  2. Release tension in the body
  3. Relax with deep steady breathing

Format of the resource

Cathy’s Relaxation Story – A comic and audio CD, both hard copy and online version

Next steps

So far the work has been exploratory and small-scale. Three future steps are:

  1. Develop this programme to include the teenagers directly. Interview the teenagers, and, if appropriate, design tailored relaxation skills
  2. Expand to include different types of families, using the same cyclical and relational model of: improved individual wellbeing = improved relationship = even better wellbeing
  3. Evaluate the resource in order to scale-up and deliver the programme at a national level

If you would like to learn more about the project please email Jane: jane.hartley@ed.ac.uk
 

 
The project is funded by The Robertson Trust

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Latest Projects

Our Outdoors Project (June 26, 2018)

Our Outdoors’ is a citizen science project which aims to contribute to public understanding of how shared outdoor spaces can affect our health and wellbeing. The project will also explore whether specific spaces affect people’s health and wellbeing differently and if so, why? In this project, we need people like you, to get involved and […]

Read More


UPDATE: The ‘Healthy University of the Future’ hackathon (March 12, 2018)

In partnership with University Sport and Exercise and the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC), SCPHRP ran an event during the Festival of Creative Learning to get students to think about health in the university setting and to design solutions to health challenges facing students. Two teams of students worked on diverse health topics. […]

Read More


A relaxation resource for kinship carers (October 18, 2017)

Our goal Our goal was to design a support resource for kinship carers. Kinship carers – often grandparents – are family members who take care of children when the birth-parents are no longer able to care for them due to circumstances such as ill-health, addiction, abuse or bereavement. The kinship carers are often from deprived communities […]

Read More


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