Outdoor clothing company Merrell has launched a campaign in aid of Mind, the mental health charity, that inspires people to explore their local area to support their mental health during this difficult year.
Hike From Home inspires everyone to explore new, local walks from their doorstep as a means to enjoy time outdoors during the pandemic, as well as supporting mental health and wellbeing.
The initiative follows a survey by Mind of more than 16,000 people during lockdown, which revealed the scale of the impact of the pandemic on people with mental health problems. Two out of three (65%) adults and three-quarters (75%) of young people aged 13-24 with an existing mental health problem reported worse mental health. Over half of adults (51%) and young people (55%) without experience of mental health problems also said their mental health has got worse during this period.
Science reveals that exercise and time spent outside can aid both physical and mental health. Research into ecotherapy, a type of therapy which involves doing activities outside in nature, has been shown to help with mild and moderate depression.
The results of lockdown, social distancing and travel restrictions have laid the foundations for a rise in micro-travel, opening the door to doorstep discovery – uncovering new routes and hidden gems near home that may otherwise have remained undiscovered.