Mission & Vision

“Activate offers a holistic person centred approach to increasing physical activity and mental well-being by supporting its clients to make outdoor activity accessible using education and training pathways to support individuals, group and families to develop the skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle”

MEET OUR TEAM

JOHN 
  • Army Career - Weapons instructor and section commander
  • Competed nationally for the Regimental shooting team
  • Played for the Regimental football team
  • Enjoys photography
  • Favourite Mountain is Helvellyn
Wayne 
  • Army Careers Officer
  • Competed with the Biathlon Ski Team, selected for Great Britain
  • QLR Shires Campaigner
  • Wayne enjoys a time challenge and loves a car boot sale!
  • Favourite Mountain is Snowdon
Graham 
  • Army Career - Section Commander
  • Physical Training Instructor - Graham can put you through your paces!
  • Mountain Expedition Leader
  • Graham loves winter wild camps, he'll keep you entertained with facts about our walks!
  • Favourite Mountain is Bowfell & Crinckle Craggs

WHO WE HELP

Activate provide holistic, person centered approaches, to improving physical and mental well-being to communities by making outdoor activities accessible for people of all ages. We support families, veterans, those with mental and physical health issues and substance misusers with tailored packages of support.

We work with employers to create bespoke team building activities and facilitated away days.

Activate utilise some of the most scenic backdrops in England, Scotland and Wales by leading walking, climbing and mountaineering excursions, events and challenges. We invest any profit from private work and funding streams to support underrepresented and underprivileged groups to experience improved well-being by spending time outdoors.

RESEARCH

Unfortunately, all this indoor time is having a negative impact on our health—and on our children’s health.

It’s time we unplugged and stepped outside.

Here are 10 very important reasons why putting “outdoor time” on your calendar is critical to your health and wellbeing!

10 Reasons Why You Should Spend More Time Outdoors

Just in case you need a little motivation…

1

Indoor air pollution is worse than outdoor.

  • You may think that you’re safe little home is much better for you than the big wide world, but it’s not so, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Studies have found that the concentration of some pollutants is often two-to-five times—and sometimes more than 100 times
  • Worse, the most common indoor pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health.
  • Indoors, you’re exposed to things like carbon monoxide and particulate matter from things like fireplaces and cooking appliances, as well as a number of other chemicals, and don’t forget mold, dirt and dust.
  • Increasing ventilation will help, but it’s best for your health to get outside a little bit every day. If you’re experiencing symptoms like burning eyes, breathing problems, scratchy throat, headaches, brain fog, and fatigue, you’re probably spending too much time breathing indoor air.
2

Your stress levels will go down.

  • You’ve probably already experienced this. If you’re stressed out at home or in the office, it’s amazing what a quick walk outside can do for you.
  • Science backs up this experience. A 2009 study found that after taking nature walks, people reported lower levels of stress. A 2013 study reported that taking a walk in a green area can put the brain in a meditative state, with results so profound they showed up on EEG (electroencephalography) recordings.
  • Add a few trees in the mix and you’ll feel even better. These were the findings from a 2010 study, which found that “forest bathing”—the practice of walking through the forest—reduced levels of the stress hormone “cortisol” in the blood, and decreased stress and anxiety. It also reduced blood pressure and heart rate, as well as fatigue and improved mood.
3

It’s better for your eyes.

  • You probably already know that all those hours staring at the screen are bad for your eyes. But scientists recently reported that particularly for children, too much time indoors can create irreversible changes in the eyes.
  • A number of studies have linked time indoors with incidence of myopia, or nearsightedness, in children. In 2012, researchers assessed children at ages 7, 10, 11, 12, and 15 years and found that those who spent more time outdoors were less likely to develop myopia.
  • Time outdoors is also good for adult eyes. The more time we spend with the screen, the more likely we are to suffer dry eye syndrome. Letting the eyes focus on something more distant exercises different muscles and allows the eyes to relax and recover.
4

It’s the best way to get some vitamin D.

  • Many of us are not getting enough vitamin D—probably because we’re spending so much time indoors. It’s gotten so concerning that in 2008, researchers reported that vitamin D deficiency “is now recognized as a pandemic.”
  • The reason according to scientists? We’re not getting enough sunlight, and the foods we eat that naturally contain vitamin D don’t contain enough to satisfy optimal requirements.
  • Meanwhile, low levels of vitamin D have been tied to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, hip fractures, and pregnancy complications.
  • Your body’s best source of vitamin D is the sun. Try to get at least 15 minutes of direct sun exposure on your skin every day.
5

It will help you sleep.

  • How well you sleep has a lot to do with hormones like melatonin and your own natural circadian rhythm. Both of these are affected by your exposure to light—sunlight, most of all. If you’re spending too much time indoors, you’re isolated from the source of your body’s natural rhythms, and your sleep cycle is likely to suffer.
6

It will get you moving.

  • When we go outside, we naturally move more. It seems to come with the territory. According to the study above on sunlight and sleep, workers who got more sun also tended to be more physically active.
  • Studies have also found that those who run or bike outside exert more energy and burn more calories than those who use treadmills or stationary bikes. Other studies have found that people enjoy exercising outdoors more and are therefore to do it for longer—again, burning more calories.
7

You’ll improve your attention/memory.

  • Having a hard time concentrating? Get outside for a few minutes.
  • Just a little fresh air and sunshine can help increase your attention span. Researchers from the University of Illinois evaluated 17 children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), before and after taking a 20-minute walk in the park. Children were better able to focus after the walks in “green areas,” as opposed to walks in other settings.
  • "Doses of nature might serve as a safe, inexpensive, widely accessible new tool in the tool kit for managing ADHD symptoms," researchers wrote.
8

You’ll have more energy.

  • A 2010 study found that those who walked outside reported higher levels of vitality. “Nature is fuel for the soul,” said lead author Richard Ryan. "Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature."
  • • Other studies have shown that the presence of nature helps ward off feelings of exhaustion, and that 90 percent of people report increased energy when they’re enjoying outdoor activities.
9

You’ll feel happier.

  • Time outside benefits your mental wellbeing, according to scientists. It naturally boosts levels of serotonin in the brain—the “feel good” neurotransmitter. In a 2002 study, scientists measured serotonin levels in a group of 101 healthy men during each of the four seasons, and found that regardless of the season, the level of serotonin in the brain was affected by the amount of sunlight on any given day.
  • Another recent study found that groups of participants who took walks in nature experienced reduced symptoms of depression and enhanced mental wellbeing.
  • "Our findings suggest that something as simple as joining an outdoor walking group may not only improve someone’s daily positive emotions," said study author Sara Warber, “but may also contribute to a non-pharmacological approach to serious conditions like depression.”
10

You’ll boost your immune system.

  • In the study mentioned above on “forest bathing,” and in a follow-up study on the same practice, researchers found that participants walking among the trees boosted their immune systems. More specifically, after the participants inhaled the natural "phytoncides" in the air—particles of a-pinene and limonene from the wood of the forest trees—their blood tests showed increased activity of natural killer cells.
  • What was amazing was that the effects of increased immune function were still there 30 days after the walk!
  • It’s clear that nature is in our blood. Do yourself a favor this week and hit the great outdoors!