Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


3.3 HEALTH SCIENCES, 5.1 PSYCHOLOGY, *human – machine relations

Publication Details

Front. Psychol. 10:1233.doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01233


Traditionally, perceptions about extreme sport athletes being disconnected fromnature and a risk-taking population have permeated the research literature. Drawingupon theoretical perspectives from environmental, sport, organizational and positivepsychology, this qualitative study attempts to explore the lived experiences of fourmale and four female extreme sport athletes. The purpose of this study was togain insight and understanding into the individuals’ attitudes toward the benefits ofextreme sport activities for well-being, resilience and pro-environmental behavior. Eightparticipants (Mean age = 40.5 years;SD=±12.9) provided written informed consentto partake in semi-structured interviews. Each athlete provided written consented toallow the publication of their identifiable data and in order to facilitate sharing of theirautobiographical account of their experiences. After conducting thematic analysis,meta-themes that emerged from the analyses were as follows: (a) early childhoodexperiences, (b) the challenge of the outdoors, (c) their emotional response to nature,(d) nature for coping, (e) restorative spaces, and (f) environmental concern. The findingsconvey great commonalities across the participants with regard to their mindset,their emotional well-being as well as their connectivity with nature and attitudestoward the natural environment.