Cognitive Study

| Published: March 31, 2020

Examining the influence of trekking in nature on adaptive response to stress in individuals

Tony Brian D’souza

Undergraduate student, Department of Psychology, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Langford Gardens, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India Google Scholar More about the auther

, Dr. Sowmya Puttaraju

Visiting Faculty, Department of Psychology, Mount Carmel College, Vasanth Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.114/20200801

DOI: 10.25215/0801.114


“Trekking in nature is good, as breathing fresh air helps you become relaxed and less stressful” is a statement most individuals have heard. The statement highlights the physical process (external factor like oxygen) which facilitates management/resolution of stress biologically, as proven by few studies. Studies have suggested a strong correlation between stress and fear of uncertainty i.e, if an individual has high levels of fear of uncertainty; he or she is likely to be more stressful to an event compared to others. There are various psychological processes included in trekking, like primarily, facing uncertainty. Uncertainty to weather conditions, accepting and functioning under lack of control, enhancing tolerance to frustration, even enabling trust within a group. The present study chooses to focus on whether the experience of managing uncertainty while trekking influences an individual’s ability to cope with uncertainty in day to day life which in turn leads to lowering of stress levels. In other words to understand the role of trekking in nature in equipping individuals to become adaptive in the way they express and feel stress. A population of 58 trekking individuals from different trekking groups in Bangalore, Karnataka, India were assessed on a standardized quantitative assessment, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) to measure perceived stress and asked to respond to a short interview to obtain subjective qualitative information. The assessments were conducted pre, post and follow-up to a trekking expedition. Results derived from the study show that individuals with beginner and intermediate levels of trekking experience scored lower on the stress scale immediately after trekking lower stress levels compared to responses collected on the scale before and a week after trekking. Experienced trekking individuals scores remained constant on the Perceived stress scale across the three trials. The study concludes that experienced trekking individuals are better equipped to handle stress compared to trekking individuals of beginner or intermediate levels of experience.

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429



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Published in   Volume 08, Issue 1, January-March, 2020