The research literature on outdoor recreation as it relates to human health is vast and growing. To help policymakers take new and emerging findings into account when designing recreation and park services and initiatives for the 21st century, this paper summarizes the salient issues and identifies research gaps. It considers how being outside in natural surroundings may improve health and how outdoor physical activities benefit participants. Particular attention is given to children’s health problems that can be mitigated through outdoor play, sports, and nature study. The paper describes approaches to measuring physical activity and recent trends in park visitation and outdoor activity participation. It looks at variables that affect participation in outdoor activities and considers the projected demographic changes that will affect policymaking in this arena. The findings of this literature review point to potential new directions for outdoor recreation policy, as well as new policy questions to be explored.
Outdoor Recreation, Health, and Wellness: Understanding and Enhancing the Relationship
Working Paper by Geoffrey Godbey — May 6, 2009Download
Common Resources — May 22, 2020
National Park Gateway Communities, the Outdoor Recreation Economy, and COVID-19
A bill before Congress could provide financial support for underfunded public lands, while offering local economies a much-needed boost.
Common Resources — Apr 24, 2020
Preparation Now for Environmental Opportunities in Fiscal Stimulus Programs
Coronavirus will motivate some fiscal stimulus spending proposals that could benefit the environment, as long as proponents of environmental programs are prepared for the opportunities.
Media Highlight — Mar 27, 2020
New RFF Study on National Monuments' Benefits for American West Economic Growth Gaining Traction in the Media
A groundbreaking study by Resources for the Future (RFF) researchers, published today in Science Advances, has been receiving attention in the media.