Happy Park and Recreation month! Celebrated annually in July, Park and Recreation month helps to highlight some of the great roles that our profession has on the community. This July, we are celebrating all of the “undiscovered” roles of parks and recreation with the theme of "A Lifetime of Discovery". This wellness blog will go over some of the health and wellness benefits of parks and recreation.
When discussing the undiscovered roles of parks and recreation, I first thought about all of the health and wellness implications that our profession offers that the general public might not consider. For each week in July, I'll cover a new health and wellness benefit of our field.
This week, the"undiscovered benefit" of our profession is the importance of easy access to parks for health. Did you know that people who use parks and open spaces are three times more likely to achieve the daily recommended dose of exercise? Additionally, greater access to parks is associated with reduced stress, reduced risk of depression, and greater mental health and well-being. These findings have some very crucial impacts on our field.
With the relationship between parks and open spaces and health, I was reminded of how important it is to have parks that are accessible locations for all. The 10-minute walk campaign is a great initiative that helps to achieve this.
If you did not already know, the 10-minute walk campaign is a nationwide movement to ensure there’s a great park within a 10-minute walk from every person, in every neighborhood, in every city of America. If more parks and open spaces are available and easily accessible by people, there is more opportunity for them to be used.
With it being Park and Recreation month, now is the PERFECT time to help promote the 10-minute walk campaign. Here are a few simple steps to take:
Thank participating mayors for making parks a priority
Ask new mayors to publicly endorse the campaign
Share the 10-minute walk vision with your professional and personal network
Also, share some of these promotional materials to educate your community about the campaign, and to generate more interest in walking efforts.
Additionally, you can personally sign up to support this effort at this website. Encourage interested citizens, elected officials, and media members to sign up as well.
Check back next week for a new "undiscovered" role of parks and recreation!
Until next time,