Leading the nation to improved
health and wellness through parks and recreation.
continues to feel the strain of a serious health crisis affecting adults and
young alike. One in which we are plagued by poor nutrition, sedentary
lifestyles, and unhealthy habits. But there is a solution with little to no
cost and is available in nearly every town, city and community – local parks
The scientific evidence is mounting that parks and
recreation are building healthier communities and top health officials in the
country – U.S. Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention – validate that parks and recreation are a critical solution for
our nation’s health epidemic.
Parks and recreation are enacting
strategies focused on improving access to healthy food, increasing
opportunities for physical activity, decreasing tobacco consumption, and so
much more. The solutions they provide are making a real difference, like in
Montgomery, AL, where leadership by the park and recreation agency has helped
reduce the rate of obesity from 34 to 30.9 percent, taking the county from
the Most Obese in 2010 to 15th in 2012.
The time is now to
demonstrate how parks and recreation are effectively able to create healthy
and prosperous communities. Watch NRPA’s President and CEO Barbara
Tulipane, CAE talk about how parks and recreation can embrace leadership in health and
Interactive Map Explores Health Trends in the United States
for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research
center at the University of Washington, created this interactive map in which you can explore health trends in
the United States at the county level for both sexes in life expectancy,
hypertension, obesity and physical activity. This research helps provide a
foundation for informed decision-making and community action toward eating
healthier and increasing physical activity.
More health and
wellness resources can be found here.
Parks & Recreation Magazine: Health and Wellness Articles
Empowering Veterans to Improve Community Health
By Jimmy O’Connor
November 2013 Issue
Summary: How the Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness program is making a difference.
Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties
By Kathleen Gibi
October 2013 Issue
Summary: Park and recreation agencies across the country take part in Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to increase physical activity and reduce childhood obesity.
What is Your Health Impact Assessment?
By Zarnaaz Bashir, MPH
Summary: Health Impact Assessments can lead to better decisionmaking for park and recreation investments.