The implementation of a 30x30 nature challenge among students attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
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The purpose of the project was to implement a 30x30 Nature Challenge among students attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, during the Spring 2018 semester. The overall goal was to increase nature relatedness, perceived social support, and physical activity among challenge participants. Participants were challenged to spend 30 minutes outside per day for a total of 30 days. During the challenge, motivational emails were sent out each week as reminders to each participant. College students face a plethora of stressors which can result in feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially with an increased use of technology. The journey through college is full of changes and transitions, which can trigger mental health issues. Research has shown that experiences in the natural world reduce stress and increase feelings of belonging and happiness. The current project focused on implementing and motivating students to get active outdoors with their peers. The challenge was marketed via campus resources and through various channels in association with the Wellness and Health Advocacy Division. The pilot program utilized a pre-test and post-test to determine any change in participant perception and behaviors. Overall, the participants in the 30x30 Nature Challenge showed an increase in nature relatedness, increase in perceived social support, and an increase in physical activity. The results of the pilot program can be utilized to implement future, larger scale 30x30 Nature Challenges on campus.