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Nature-Based Physical Activity Advertising: Recommendations Based on Attention Restoration Theory and Psychoevolutionary Theory

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Recent research has suggested that physical activity in natural areas may provide benefits that exceed those in other settings. Additional benefits include increased self-esteem and enjoyment of the activity, and decreased negative mood states and blood pressure. Therefore, encouraging nature-based physical activities may play an important role in the promotion of health and wellness. Advertising has been cited as an important component of a health promotion campaign; although to date no study has recommended strategies for designing advertising specific to nature-based physical activities. The purpose of this article is to review two prominent human-nature interaction frameworks, Attention Restoration Theory (ART) and Psychoevolutionary Theory (PET), and based on their tenets, recommend strategies for message design. The two recommendations proposed are: (1) to include natural images that meet the restorative criteria outlined in both theories; and (2) to explicitly feature the additional benefits of exercising in natural spaces in advertisements. Adhering to these recommendations in the advertisement design process may increase the effectiveness of the message.

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