Imagine clinging on to the side of a wall and hoisting yourself up further and further with nothing but your hands, feet, and a few well-placed holds to keep you steady. Sounds daunting? Well, welcome to the world of bouldering.
To be fair, it’s actually not as scary as it sounds; you usually have a spotter to cheer you on from the ground and if all else fails, there’s always a padded safety mat to catch you should you fall. Bouldering is really just rock climbing without the use of harnesses and ropes and now that this sport has been announced as an event in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics it’s gaining a lot of traction...but that isn’t the only reason why bouldering has had such a sudden peak in popularity.
A study conducted by the University of Arizona early last year (2017) found that bouldering can actually help alleviate depression and other mental illnesses. In the study, 100 participants with moderate classed depression bouldered for just 3 hours a week for 8 weeks. These people were all new to the sport and were at different levels of fitness at the beginning of the trial. What’s amazing is that after the trial completed participants on average dropped a full severity grade lower on the depression scale, from moderate down to mild.
Surely the results speak for themselve but the question is WHY is bouldering so effective at combating depression. Well, there are actually several factors…
The experts behind the study suggest that one of the most detrimental problems for those suffering depression is “rumination”: when there’s nothing occupying your attention so you just sit and think about all the bad things in your life - we’ve all been there, right? But bouldering is such a mentally stimulating activity that you simply don’t have time to think about anything else. Your main focus is on not falling; it’s on choosing the right footholds and getting the right hand grip so that you can climb up further without letting your balance waiver.
Bouldering is also a surprisingly social activity and there’s a real element of comradery as people on the ground and on the wall cheer you on and help you strategize the best route. With isolation being one of the leading factors of depression, this is another important component that bouldering offers.
The last is pretty simple: bouldering at its core is a great form of fitness. Exercise has proven time and time again to be a fantastic tool in the fight against depression, not to mention the gratifying sense of accomplishment that comes with putting your body to work and seeing it perform as you find yourself tapping the top of that wall.
As you can probably tell, we’re pretty passionate about bouldering (and with the sport doing so much good for our physical and mental health, why wouldn’t we be?) but we’re also very passionate about designing and installing the best bouldering and climbing walls possible so that your clients can experience all the benefits this incredible sport has to offer. You can read all about by study we mentioned here https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/bouldering-envisioned-new-treatment-depression
If you’d like to look at having a bouldering wall installed in your facility you can call us on
02 9999 0055 or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org