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Winters in mid western climates create a challenging environment for outdoor activity. Exercise and outdoor interaction decrease with the temperatures, causing a variety of health implications. Conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder have been shown to surface during the coming of winter, especially in northern climates that experience less daylight than other parts of the world. Increasing outdoor activity through seasonal landscape interventions is a way to counteract these negative effects of cold weather. This study has shed some light on the connection between Seasonal Affective Disorder, benefits based in dual use landscapes, exercise and health through research and investigations based on case studies. Through an analysis of the information, it has been determined that there is a correlation between exercise and overall health and well being. The potential for outdoor exercise is prevalent during winter months by utilizing space that would be otherwise be left unused. By creating an alternative source of activity, the probability of outdoor activity increases during winter months. This increase in activity provokes the body to naturally elevate its immune system, increasing its ability to fight of bacteria and viruses. Outdoor recreation is a viable option even in the cold weather experienced during winters in the Midwest.
Design Thesis (B.L.Arch.)--North Dakota State University, 2010.