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What is the evidence for climbing being beneficial for mental health?

There is lots of anecdotal evidence. If you ask a climber whether climbing helps their sense of wellbeing and mental health, the overwhelming majority will say it does: whether that is maintaining a good level of wellbeing, or helping to fight mental illnesses such as depressive disorders and anxiety.

For personal stories of how climbing has helped people, check out our ‘stories’ page.


More stories from people who found climbing helped with their mental health can be found by clicking on the icons below.


UKC Article
Men, Masculinities
and Mental Health
UKC Article
Aspergers and Climbing
BMC Article
Benefits of climbing on Mental Wellbeing
WomenClimb Article
Climbing and Mental Health
The Mighty Article
Falling & Suicide
BMC Article
Positive Mental Wellbeing

What about 'hard' evidence?

If it’s hard evidence you’re after, the research base is slowly growing, to show that climbing can reduce depressive symptoms, increase positive mood, and increase coping skills.

An easy to read article on a research study can be read here ->


Or, if you’re after published academic papers, you can read a few studies by clicking on the icons below.


Karg et al. 2020
Schwarz et al. 2019
Stelzer et al. 2018

Climbing is quite regularly used as therapy in Austria and Germany, with some hospitals even having their own designated climbing wall!

Read more about that
here ->


At C/A/M, we are actively working to grow the evidence base, through working with various sporting bodies and Academic Institutions.


Short film on climbing and mental health

Mindful Climber - by Lauren Sawyer

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