Nikola Stojanović, Petar Mitić, Aleksandra Projović, Zvezdan Savić

DOI Number
First page
Last page


The main goal of the present study was to explore if there are any differences in attitudes toward outdoor activities between students from urban and rural areas. Moreover, it was necessary to extract data regarding implementation of certain models of outdoor activities in order to evaluate which models are mostly carried out as extracurricular activities in nature in order to draw valuable conclusions for future practice. The results showed that there were no significant differences between students from urban and rural settings, except in students’ attitudes towards benefits of outdoor activities on proper growth and development in favor of students from rural areas. According to Cohen’s interpretation, a small to moderate effect (Cohen’s d=0.02-0.38) regarding living environment variations was present in the relevant items. Moreover, excursions were the most implemented extracurricular activity at schools, and regarding outdoor activities, outings and athletic cross country were the most dominant. However, outdoor activities like winter and summer outdoor activities, camping, cycling, hiking tours should be implemented in order to potentially improve students’ engagement in physical activity in natural environments. Future studies should be focused on exploring the effect of diverse natural environments, PE teachers’ and practitioners’ competencies, school curriculums, students and parents’ barriers towards outdoor physical activities. This multifactorial approach could probably provide causal relationship, which could clarify this issue.


Extracurricular physical activities, natural environment, urban and rural areas

Full Text:



Bailey, R. (2006). Physical education and sport in schools: A review of benefits and outcomes. Journal of Shool Health, 76(8), 397-401. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2006.00132.x

Bates, L. C., Zieff, G., Stanford, K., Moore, J. B., Kerr, Z. Y., Hanson, E. D., Barone Gibbs, B., Kline, C. E., & Stoner, L. (2020). COVID-19 impact on behaviors across the 24-hour day in children and adolescents: physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep. Children, 7(9), 138. doi: 10.3390/children7090138

Bell, J. F., Wilson, J. S., & Liu, G. C. (2008). Neighborhood greenness and 2-year changes in body mass index of children and youth. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 35(6), 547-553. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.07.006

Browne, K. D., & Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. (2005). The influence of violent media on children and adolescents: a public-health approach. The Lancet, 365(9460), 702-710. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)17952-5

Burdette, H. L., Whitaker, R. C., & Daniels, S. R. (2004). Parental report of outdoor playtime as a measure of physical activity in preschool-aged children. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 158(4), 353-357. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.4.353

Davies, M. (1997). The Teacher's Role in Outdoor Play: Preschool Teachers' Beliefs and Practices. Journal of Australian Research in Early Childhood Education, 1, 10-20. ERIC Number: ED408059

Deng, L., & Pang, Y. (2019). Effect of outdoor activities in myopia control: meta-analysis of clinical studies. Optometry and Vision Science, 96(4), 276-282. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001357

Eigenschenk, B., Thomann, A., McClure, M., Davies, L., Gregory, M., Dettweiler, U., & Inglés, E. (2019). Benefits of outdoor sports for society. A systematic literature review and reflections on evidence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(6), 937. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16060937

Fjørtoft, I. (2001). The natural environment as a playground for children: The impact of outdoor play activities in pre-primary school children. Early Childhood Education Journal, 29(2), 111-117. doi:10.1023/A:1012576913074

Fuselli, P., Yanchar, N. L., Canadian Paediatric, S., & Injury Prevention, C. (2012). Preventing playground injuries. Paediatrics & Child Health, 17(6), 328-328. doi: 10.1093/pch/17.6.328

Gilman, R. (2001). The relationship between life satisfaction, social interest, and frequency of extracurricular activities among adolescent students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30(6), 749-767. doi: 10.1023/A:1012285729701

Hu, Y., Chen, J., Wang, R., Li, M., Yun, C., Li, W., Yang, Y., Piao, J., Yang, X., & Yang, L. (2017). Vitamin D nutritional status and its related factors for Chinese children and adolescents in 2010–2012. Nutrients, 9(9), 1024. doi: 10.3390/nu9091024

Kemple, K. M., Oh, J., Kenney, E., & Smith-Bonahue, T. (2016). The power of outdoor play and play in natural environments. Childhood Education, 92(6), 446-454. doi: 10.1080/00094056.2016.1251793

Little, H., & Wyver, S. (2008). Outdoor play: Does avoiding the risks reduce the benefits? Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 33(2), 33-40. doi: 10.1177/183693910803300206

Lovasi, G. S., Quinn, J. W., Neckerman, K. M., Perzanowski, M. S., & Rundle, A. (2008). Children living in areas with more street trees have lower prevalence of asthma. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 62(7), 647-649. doi: 10.1136/jech.2007.071894

McCurdy, L. E., Winterbottom, K. E., Mehta, S. S., & Roberts, J. R. (2010). Using nature and outdoor activity to improve children's health. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care, 40(5), 102-117. doi: 10.1016/j.cppeds.2010.02.003

Moore, R., & Wong, H. (1997). Natural learning: Rediscovering nature’s way of teaching. MIG Communications.

Schmidt, S. C. E., Anedda, B., Burchartz, A., Eichsteller, A., Kolb, S., Nigg, C., Niessner, C., Oriwol, D., Worth, A., & Woll, A. (2020). Physical activity and screen time of children and adolescents before and during the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany: a natural experiment. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-12. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-78438-4

Tammelin, R., Yang, X., Leskinen, E., Kankaanpaa, A., Hirvensalo, M., Tammelin, T., & Raitakari, O. T. (2014). Tracking of physical activity from early childhood through youth into adulthood. Medicine & Science in Sports Exercise, 46(5), 955-962. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000181

Thompson Coon, J., Boddy, K., Stein, K., Whear, R., Barton, J., & Depledge, M. H. (2011). Does participating in physical activity in outdoor natural environments have a greater effect on physical and mental wellbeing than physical activity indoors? A systematic review. Environmental Science & Technology, 45(5), 1761-1772. doi: 10.1021/es102947t

Tremblay, M. S., Gray, C., Babcock, S., Barnes, J., Bradstreet, C. C., Carr, D., Chabot, G., Choquette, L., Chorney, D., & Collyer, C. (2015). Position statement on active outdoor play. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(6), 6475-6505. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120606475

Vuković, J., Matić, R. M., Milovanović, I. M., Maksimović, N., Krivokapić, D., & Pišot, S. (2021). Children's daily routine response to COVID-19 emergency measures in Serbia. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 9, 154. doi: 10.3389/fped.2021.656813

Zenic, N., Taiar, R., Gilic, B., Blazevic, M., Maric, D., Pojskic, H., & Sekulic, D. (2020). Levels and changes of physical activity in adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic: contextualizing urban vs. rural living environment. Applied Sciences, 10(11), 3997. doi: 10.3390/app10113997



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN   1451-740X (Print)

ISSN   2406-0496 (Online)