Natural fit: can green space and biodiversity increase levels of physical activity?

Bird, W., 2004, Natural fit: can green space and biodiversity increase levels of physical activity?, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

  • Author : Bird, W.
  • Year : 2004
  • Pages : 93
  • Publisher : Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Outline in English : from http://www.rspb. Physical inactivity has serious effects on human health, which cost the UK economy more than £8 billion a year. New research commissioned by the RSPB underlines the strong links between good physical health and the natural environment that we strive to protect. Outdoor activities, particularly walking, offer a cheap and accessible route to better health for all, and address many of today's pressing public health issues. The continued use of green space for physical activity is strongly linked to the quality of the landscape - in terms of beauty, diversity, and contact with nature. Green space has a key role to play in the drive to increase levels of physical activity across the nation. Detailed studies of two recent schemes, using the natural environment to promote fitness ('Health Walks' and 'The Green Gym'), show that being in contact with nature both encourages people to take exercise and sustains their participation in physical activity. Sociable walking is recommended around the world as a simple, cheap and popular form of exercise. In contrast to more structured exercise, such as visiting the gym or team sports, walking is highly accessible, even to high-risk health groups. Research commissioned by the RSPB indicates that varied and wildlife-rich natural environments with inspiring landscapes are most effective in promoting sociable walking and a healthier lifestyle. Time spent in natural environments is known to promote a positive outlook on life and enhance our ability to cope with, and recover from, stress, illness and injury.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: health, physical activity, economy, biodiversity, green space, health policy, urban forestry. Report is to download from: