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
Resources for Health and Wellness
County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Program
The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to measure the health of nearly all counties in the nation and rank them within states. The Rankings are compiled using county-level measures from a variety of national and state data sources. These measures are standardized and combined using scientifically-informed weights.
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.
Explore more health and
Parks & Recreation Magazine: Health and Wellness Articles
Park Prescriptions in Practice
By Nooshin Razani, M.D., MPH; Curtis Chan, M.D., MPH; and Kristin Wheeler
August 2014 Issue
Summary: Innovators in the park and recreation industry have forged alliances to form a movement to bring parks and health together.
Summer Feeding Fun in the Sun
By Audrey Rowe
July 2014 Issue
Summary: Park and recreation agencies help fill the gap during warmer months for kids who depend on school meals for nutrition.
Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Citizens with Disabilities
By Jeff Burley, M.S., CTRS
June 2014 Issue
Summary: Parks and recreation in Utah's Salt Lake County have developed an inclusive buddy pass system to promote active participation among community members with disabilities.