A qualitative exploration of interactions with natural environments among immigrant women in Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionLorentzen, C. A. N., & Viken, B. (2021). A qualitative exploration of interactions with natural environments among immigrant women in Norway. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 1(14). https://doi.org/10.1080/14635240.2021.1921609
The role of nature in potentially improving people’s health – including immigrant women, who are particularly prone to health challenges – has been highlighted. Success in this public health arena requires an adequate understanding of the target group’s current practices and preferences. However, knowledge in this field is lacking, and is nearly non-existent in the Norwegian context. The present study therefore aims to explore practices regarding interactions with nature among immigrant women in Norway. Data were gathered through individual interviews with 14 immigrant women from Iran (2), Poland (2), Palestine, Afghanistan, Congo, Kenya, Thailand, Russia, Portugal, Latvia, Colombia, and Bulgaria. The qualitative content analysis revealed a relatively comprehensive and mixed use of natural environments, which took place in three distinct types of locales: 1) local natural environments, e.g. neighboring wooded areas, sites by the water, playing fields, and school yards; 2) domestic natural environments, e.g. indoor and garden plants; and 3) distant natural environments, e.g. mountains and fjords requiring driving and often overnight visit. Nature outings often included passive recreational pursuits, such as eating a meal and enjoying the scenery, with a few close friends or family members. Walking emerged as a common local nature-based physical activity. Study findings also portray a complex ‘image of nature’ among the women, reflecting their valuing of both more managed and more pristine nature. Findings therefore suggest that future public health practices targeting immigrant women may apply a broad definition of ‘interaction with nature’, incorporating various geographical locales as well as types of nature.