One way of promoting and fostering the important relationship between parks and public health is through social media. Social media can be used to inform and remind the public about how parks and public health relate to each other. It can also be used to get informal feedback and testimonials from community members about how they personally use parks for health. Below are some suggested topics, facts, and posts that can be used to start talking about parks and public health on your social media accounts.

 
Holiday Related Fact Facebook Post Twitter Post

New Year’s Day
January 1

When Boston made park health programming highly visible by hiring veterans to teach free health classes in 18 city parks a year, park attendance dramatically increased during summer months.[1]

[1] NRPA’s 2015 Field Report, NRPA, 2015

Parks and recreation can make a huge difference in keeping that new year’s resolution to stay fit. What’s your favorite park walk or full workout? #Parks4Health

Parks and recreation can help you keep that new year’s resolution to stay fit! What’s your favorite park workout? #Parks4Health

Character count: 127

Valentine’s Day
February 14

Exercise is one of the most important factors in keeping a heart healthy. [1]

[1] 20 Amazing Facts About Your Heart Infographic, Cleveland Clinic, 2015

Not only are parks great for those romantic walks, they’re also a great place to get exercise. And exercise is one of the most important things you can do to keep your heart healthy. So love your heart this Valentine’s Day and head to the park!

Exercise keeps your heart healthy, so love your heart this Valentine’s Day and head to the park! #Parks4Health

Character count: 110

National Day of Unplugging
First Friday in March

Children today experience record levels of obesity and preventable diseases like hypertension and Type II Diabetes, but using parks to encourage movement and healthier eating can help children fight these diseases and live longer.[1]

[1] How Parks Create Healthier Communities, NRPA 2015

National Day of Unplugging is coming up! Today’s kids experience record levels of obesity and other preventable diseases. Using parks and recreation to help children move more can help. So tell us: how do your kids like to unplug and move?

Happy National Day of Unplugging! Parks help kids move more and stay healthy. How do your kids like to unplug and get active? #Parks4Health

Character count: 139

National Take a Walk in the Park Day
March 30

A 2005 study found that in Lincoln, Nebraska every $1 spent on trails saved almost $3 in direct medical costs over time.[1]

[1] Infographic: the Role of Parks and Recreation in Promoting Physical Activity, Active Living Research

It’s National Take a Walk in the Park Day! One study found spending money on trails reduces community medical costs. What’s your favorite park to walk in?

It’s Take a Walk in the Park Day! Money spent on trails can reduce medical costs. What’s your favorite park to walk in? #Parks4Health

Character count: 133

National Kindergarten Day
April 21

Children who live within two-thirds of a mile from a park with a playground are five times more likely to be a healthy weight. Time spent outside leads to higher levels of physical activity in children.[1]

[1] Infographic: Children & Nature, National Environmental Education Foundation

Today’s National Kindergarten Day! Community parks are a great place for kids to get enough exercise to grow strong and healthy. So tell us, what’s your kindergartener’s favorite thing to do at the park?

Today’s National Kindergarten Day! What’s your kindergartener’s favorite thing to do at the park? #Parks4Health

Character count: 111

Mother’s Day
Second Sunday in May

Women who walk regularly are 31 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than those who exercise less than one hour a week.[1]

[1] Health Benefits of Walking, Every Body Walk, 2012

Women who walk regularly are more likely to live healthier lives. Celebrate Mother’s Day by taking a healthy stroll in the park and tell us: What’s your favorite place to walk with Mom?

Celebrate Mother’s Day by telling us, what’s your favorite park to walk in with Mom? #Parks4Health

Character count: 98

National Love a Tree Day
May 16

Patients in hospital rooms facing a park had a 10 percent faster recovery and needed 50 percent less strong pain medication, compared to patients whose rooms faced a building wall.[1]

[1] Making the Case for Designing Active Cities, Active Living Research (Bolund, 1999), 2015

Fact: Patients in hospital rooms facing a park recovered faster and needed less pain medication. So celebrate Love a Tree Day, and tell us about your favorite tree growing up!

Patients in hospital rooms facing a park recover faster and need less pain medication. So celebrate Love a Tree Day! #Parks4Health

Character count: 130

National Bike to Work Day
Third Friday in May

Installing bike lanes increases the use of bicycling as a form of active transportation. When Portland, Oregon expanded their active transportation infrastructure to encourage cyclists, the next five years saw four times as many cyclists and a 69 percent decrease in accidents.[1] In New Orleans, a new bike lane increased cyclists by 225 percent.[2]

[1] Active Transportation and Parks and Recreation, NRPA
[2] Infographic: Changing Communities Gets People Moving, Active Living Research

Today’s National Bike to Work Day! Studies show that adding more bike lanes can increase cyclists and decrease accidents. If you could add one bike lane in our city, where would it be?

Today’s National Bike to Work Day! Bike lanes can increase cyclists and decrease accidents. Where would you add a bike lane? #Parks4Health

Character count: 138

National Senior Health and Fitness Day
Last Wednesday in May

For individuals with arthritis, walking can help reduce pain, as well as improve mobility and quality of life.[1]

[1] Health Benefits of Walking, Every Body Walk, 2012

Walking can reduce pain and improve mobility for people with arthritis. Celebrate National Senior Health and Fitness Day by telling us what park you like to walk in!

Celebrate Senior Health & Fitness Day with a walk in the park! Walking can help people with arthritis. Where do you walk? #Parks4Health

Character count: 135

National Running Day
June 3

In Los Angeles, 38 percent of residents said they got most of their exercise by using parks and parks programming.[1]

[1] Quantifying the Contribution of Public Parks to Physical Activity and Health, NRPA, 2014

In some cities, over 1/3 of residents get their exercise by using parks. Since today’s National Running Day, tell us: What’s the best park run you know of?

Today’s National Running Day! What’s your favorite park to run in? #Parks4Health

Character count: 80

National Gardening Exercise Day
June 6

Eight studies have found that separation from nature is detrimental to human development, health and well-being, and that regular contact with nature is required for mental health.[1]

[1] Making the Case for Designing Active Cities, Active Living Research (Maller, 2008), 2015

Today’s National Gardening Exercise Day! Humans are mentally and physically healthier when they spend time in nature. Are you a community gardener? (or) Did you know [your community] has XX community gardens?

Today’s National Gardening Exercise Day! Get some exercise and healthy food by checking out one of our community gardens. #Parks4Health

Character count: 136

Nature Photography Day
June 15

Individuals reported less mental distress and greater life satisfaction when they were living in greener areas.[1]

[1] Making the Case for Designing Active Cities, Active Living Research (White, 2013), 2015

People living in greener areas are less stressed. So grab a camera (or your smart phone) and go celebrate Nature Photography Day at your nearest park. And then come back and post the pictures here!

People in greener areas are less stressed. Grab a camera and tweet us your Nature Photography Day pic from a local park. #Parks4Health

Character count: 134

End of School Year
Late May-mid June

Seventy-six percent of recreation and park agencies offer summer camps, which provide some form of active programming for children, and 50 percent of those agencies also provide healthy feeding programs for park participants.[1]

[1] PRORAGIS: The Role of Park and Recreation Agencies in Fighting Childhood Hunger Issues, NRPA

Do you know what your kids are doing this summer? We offer summer programming for kids. Check out [web address] to find out what we are offering this summer.

We've got great summer programming for your kids! It’ll keep them happy AND healthy! Check out [web address]. #Parks4Health

Character count: 123

Father’s Day 
Third Sunday in June

The risk of cardiovascular and respiratory disease mortality in men decreased with more access to green urban spaces. Males living in the greenest urban areas in the UK had a 5 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and 11 percent lower risk of respiratory disease mortality than those in the least green areas.[1]

[1] Making the Case for Designing Active Cities, Active Living Research (Richardson & Mitchell, 2010), 2015

Studies show men can live longer and healthier lives when they spend more time in green spaces. What are you and dad doing in the parks today to keep fit and happy?

Access to green spaces can keep Dad healthier. So come celebrate #Father'sDay in the park! #Parks4Health

Character count: 104

4th of July

Neighborhood parks can function as the center of neighborhood activity, where residents can gather for social events, recreational activities, and meetings about community issues, increasing social interaction. While physical activity-related health benefits are realized at the individual level, collective efficacy could even affect individuals who are not park users themselves.[1]

[1] Quantifying the Contribution of Public Parks to Physical Activity and Health: Introducing SOPARC, Deborah A. Cohen

Neighborhood parks can be a great place for residents to play and celebrate together. So tell us: what park are you using to celebrate the 4th of July?

Neighborhood parks are great places to play and celebrate together. What park are you using to celebrate the #4thofJuly? #Parks4Health

Character count: 134

National Father Daughter Take a Walk Day
July 6

A 20-minute walk in a park or other natural area can help children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder focus better.[1]

[1] Infographic: Children & Nature, National Environmental Education Foundation

Today is National Father Daughter Take a Walk Day. A 20-minute stroll in a park can help some kids learn to focus better. What park is your favorite for quality family time?

It's National Father Daughter Take a Walk Day. What park is your favorite for quality family time? #Parks4Health

Character count: 112

National Dance Day
Last Saturday in July

A study conducted on Seattle’s park and recreation system revealed that the city’s residents were able to save $64 million in medical costs as a result of getting physical activity in the parks.[1]

[1] The Economic Benefits of Seattle’s Park and Recreation System, 2011

People can cut down on medical bills by getting exercise in local parks. So celebrate National Dance Day and check out some of the dance programs happening in our parks and rec centers this summer: [link to summer programming]

People can cut down on medical bills by exercising in parks. So grab your music and celebrate National Dance Day in the park! #Parks4Health

Character count: 139

National Kids Day
First Sunday in August

Children who spend more time outdoors are more physically active than children who spend more time indoors.[1]

[1] Infographic: Children & Nature, National Environmental Education Foundation

Today’s National Kids Day! Kids who spend more time outdoors are more physically active. What’s your kid’s favorite park to play in?

Today’s National Kids Day! Kids who spend more time outdoors are more active. What's your kid's favorite park? #Parks4Health

Character count: 124

National Happiness Happens Day
August 8

Physician-diagnosed depression was 33 percent higher in residential areas with the fewest green spaces, compared to neighborhoods with the most.[1]

[1] Making the Case for Designing Active Cities, Active Living Research (NRPA Report, 2010), 2015

Health fact: Depression rates are lower in areas with more green spaces. Luckily, we’ve got lots of parks for you to visit and soak up nature. Which one will you visit? #NationalHappinessHappensDay

Depression rates are lower in areas with more green space. What's your favorite park green space? #NationalHappinessHappensDay #Parks4Health

Character count: 140

National Senior Citizens Day 
August 21

Park and recreation agencies currently provide critical services for millions of seniors. Today, 70 percent of park and recreation agencies offer programs targeted at senior citizens, and the average agency serves more than 160 seniors annually.[1]

[1] NRPA infographic

Today’s National Senior Citizen’s Day! 70 percent of park and recreation agencies offer programs targeted at senior citizens.

So tell us, seniors – which parks programs do you like best?

Today’s National Senior Citizen’s Day! 70% of parks have programs for seniors. Which one's your favorite? #Parks4Health

Character count: 119

Start of School Year
Late August/early September

Active children show more brain activity, and they are 20 percent more likely to earn an A in English or Math.[1]

[1] Infographic: Active Kids Learn Better, Active Living Research

Active children show more brain activity, and they are 20 percent more likely to earn an A in English or math.

Which park or recreation facility are your kids going to use to stay active this school year?

Active kids show more brain activity and get better grades. How are yours going to stay active in the parks this school year? #Parks4Health

Character count: 139

National Family Health and Fitness Day
Last Saturday of September

Youth living in neighborhoods with multiple recreation and park facilities are more likely to be active five times a week, compared to young people who don’t have access to any.[1] Unfortunately, young people who live in poor or mostly minority neighborhoods are 50 percent less likely to have a recreation and park facility near their homes.[2]

[1] Infographic: the Role of Parks and Recreation in Promoting Physical Activity, Active Living Research
[2] Infographic: the Role of Communities in Promoting Physical Activity, Active Living Research

Youth living in neighborhoods with multiple recreation and park facilities are more likely to be active. Since today’s National Family Health & Fitness Day, what recreation and park facilities does your family like to use?

Today's National Family Health and Fitness Day! What recreation and parks facilities does your family use to stay active? #Parks4Health

Character count: 135

National Women’s Health and Fitness Day
Last Wednesday of September

Women with breast cancer who walk 3-5 hours a week may reduce mortality by 50 percent.[1]

[1] Health Benefits of Walking, Every Body Walk, 2012

Health Fact: Walking may reduce breast cancer fatalities. So head to your favorite park and celebrate National Women’s Health & Fitness Day with a refreshing walk in the park!

Walking may reduce breast cancer fatalities. Celebrate National Women’s Health and Fitness Day with a walk in the park! #Parks4Health

Character count: 133

National Child Health Day
First Monday in October

Children who live within two-thirds of a mile from a park with a playground are five times more likely to be a healthy weight. Time spent outside leads to higher levels of physical activity in children.[1]

[1] Infographic: Children & Nature, National Environmental Education Foundation

Today’s National Child Health Day. Children who live near a park are more likely to be a healthy weight. So come out to your neighborhood playground and celebrate Child Health Day!

Kids who live near a park are a healthier weight. So come out to your neighborhood playground and celebrate Child Health Day! #Parks4Health

Character count: 139

National Take a Hike Day
November 17

Diabetic individuals taking 30-minute walks in a green space experienced lower blood glucose levels than spending the same amount of time doing physical activity in other settings. Thirty minutes of walking in nature resulted in larger drops in blood glucose than three hours of cycling indoors.[1]

[1] Making the Case for Designing Active Cities, Active Living Research (NRPA Report, 2010), 2015

Diabetics taking 30-minute walks in a green space can lower their blood glucose levels. So come out to your local park and celebrate National Take a Hike Day!

A walk in green space lowers blood glucose levels for people with diabetes. So celebrate Take a Hike Day in your local park! #Parks4Health

Character count: 138

Thanksgiving Day
Fourth Thursday in November

 

This Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for all of you who use our recreation and parks programs. Why are you thankful for your local parks?

We’re thankful for everyone who uses our recreation and parks programs! Why are you thankful for your local parks? #Parks4Health

Character count: 128

 

For more information about these resources, please contact Kellie May, Director of Health and Wellness, at kmay@nrpa.org

 

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