Physiological Stress Response of the Neuroendocrine System During Outdoor

Bunting, Camille J.; Tolson, Homer; Kuhn, Cynthia; Suarez, Edward; Williams, Redford B.
June 2000
Journal of Leisure Research;2000 2nd Quarter, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p191
Academic Journal
Outdoor adventure tasks involve a composite stress of both physical and psychosocial demands. Such compound stressors are not often studied, yet this is the type of stress most often associated with active leisure experiences. The purpose of this study was to describe urinary epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol responses to various outdoor adventure tasks, and to evaluate the influence of aerobic fitness on these responses. Adult participants were recruited from individuals who had voluntarily registered and paid for a nine-day outdoor adventure program. Urine samples were collected from 15 participants following the tasks: beginning and advanced rock climbing, beginning and advanced whitewater canoeing, ropes course, and backpacking, as well as pre and postcourse van rides. The advanced rock climbing and advanced whitewater canoeing days elicited the highest urinary neuroendocrine responses, and lower fit participants had higher neuroendocrine levels when compared to the higher fit participants.


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