You don’t have to look very far to find the economic impact of parks on a community, increasing home values and increasing the number of people coming to your community to play and relax. However, the impact of parks and green space on individuals and overall quality of life is becoming a much more common topic in both research and community organizations.
Quality of Life and Parks
Time spent outdoors can be directly correlated with improved mental and physical health. People who live in residential areas away from green space have higher rates of diagnosed anxiety and depressive disorders. Even the distance from parks has an impact on how much physical activity you get.
But wait! Isn’t the decision to live healthy lives dependent on my choices? Absolutely, but you are more likely to make healthy choices like being active when you have access to resources like parks and green space nearby, accessible, and friendly to your preferred types of activity.
Many organizations are looking in to these relationships and how they can be used to help cities, neighborhoods, and streets be mentally, physically, and fiscally healthy. One approach is 10-minute parks, ensuring that every individual has the ability to get to a friendly, clean, and welcoming park within a 10 minute walk.
Public health agencies, community development organizations, realtors, and hospital systems are all excitedly working to help make this a reality, knowing that the impact of walkable accessible parks and green space will result in healthier, happier people.
Want to know more and get the stats behind this movement? Check out some of the following resources to learn how parks can impact your community’s health and well being.
Parks and Improved Mental Health and Quality of Life. National Recreation and Parks Association.
Everyone Deserves a Park Within a 10-minute Walk from Home. The Trust for Public Land.
Parks, Trails, and Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Be active, be healthy,
Dr. Brett McIff
Dr. Brett McIff has worked in physical activity promotion for over 20 years in a variety of fields from personal training to policy development. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Utah in Exercise and Sports Science. He continued his graduate work with a Master of Science in Public Health and a Ph.D. in Public Health at Walden University. Brett has served as President of the National Physical Activity Society and as President of the Utah Chapter of the Society of Public Health Educators and served on expert panels with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Academy of Science. He works with committees at the national, state, and local levels to promote environments that encourage regular physical activity.