The role of blue and green exercise in planetary health and well-being

Nuno Loureiro*, Luis Calmeiro, Adilson Marques, Diego Gómez-Baya, Margarida Gaspar de Matos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that health and well-being are essential to achieving the United Nations (UN) Development Agenda 2030, which includes the goal of empowering people to adopt active lifestyles while protecting the planet’s health. This article aims at exploring how exercise performed in different natural settings can contribute to improving health and to a more sustainable world. We define “exercise” as a form of physical activity undertaken to increase fitness, health, and well-being, and argue for the importance of “green” and “blue” exercise as forms of physical activity that are associated with the protection and sustainability of natural settings and the promotion of planetary health. Blue and green exercise should become a focus of public policies, especially when outdoor activities are being identified as fundamental for the promotion of mental, physical, social, and spiritual health. The current paper intends to raise the awareness of political decision-makers and professionals in education, environment, and heath sectors for the potential of green and blue exercise as specific exercise practices that are healthy, joyful, and environmentally friendly.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10829
Number of pages12
Issue number19
Early online date29 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2021


  • Ecology
  • Environment
  • Natural
  • Exercise
  • Quality of life
  • Physical activity


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