Parks for Health
A recent NRPA “Park Pulse” survey found that three in five Americans would take up walking or jogging through local parks and trails if they were advised to be more physically active by a doctor! This wellness blog will detail some of the findings, and share some ways for your department to get involved.
In the past few years, the idea of Park Prescriptions has been increasingly growing. Doctors are essentially prescribing their patients to go outside and get active, something that often involves using local park systems. (to find out more about the Park Prescription model, please check out this website!) The findings of the survey indicate that the general public agrees with and is willing to accept this model.
Below, I’ve included some of the key findings from the Park Pulse survey, courtesy of NRPA:
Over 3 in 5 Americans (63 percent) would take up walking or jogging through local parks, trails or around the neighborhood if they were advised to be more physically active by a doctor
One in three Americans say they would work out at a local gym or rec center
Baby boomers are more likely than Gen Xers or millennials to take up walking or jogging through local parks, trails or around the neighborhood if they were advised to be more physically active by a doctor
One in three parents would ride a bicycle at a local park, trail or around the neighborhood versus one in four adults without a child in the home saying they would do the same
So how can your department tap into this movement? Try approaching your local physicians with some of the results of the survey! It does not have to be a full-blown park prescription program, but rather letting the medical professional that your facilities would be a great resource for their patients to use to exercise.
If your department is interested in establishing a partnership with medical professionals, here are a few tips to help:
Compile materials to distribute to medical professionals.
The National ParkRx Initiative has created a webpage of communications to use when establishing partnerships
Include information about your facilities (park features, current programs, etc.)
Get creative when looking for potential medical provider partners
Use the internet, phonebook, and word-of-mouth when finding medical providers to partner with.
University medical programs, local hospitals, and private practices can be potential partner
It is great to know that parks and recreation is being looked at as a potential solution to fight against the health afflictions that are affecting America. Through your programs and facilities, our field can make a big difference, and it’s great to know that others are realizing it too.
Until next time,