From the Inside Out to the Outside In
The study reveals increasing understanding of the positive relationships between park and protected area visitation and the associated health and well-being benefits to the visitors.
Romagosa, Francesc, Eagles, Paul F.J., and Lemieux, Christopher J. (2015). From the inside out to the outside in: Exploring the role of parks and protected areas as providers of human health and well-being. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism. In Press. Available online 29 July 2015. doi:10.1016/j.jort.2015.06.009
Research consistently documents positive links between human contact with nature and health and well-being. Recent work has explored the role of visitation to parks and protected areas in providing health and well-being benefits. This conceptual paper identifies the state-of-the-art research findings on this issue from an interdisciplinary perspective.
The results reveal increasing understanding of the positive relationships between park and protected area visitation and the associated health and well-being benefits to the visitors. It also establishes the need for better collaboration between park and protected area and health institutions, which will require new and innovative transdisciplinary partnerships in order to better understand salient issues, realign common interests where appropriate, and effectively integrate empirical evidence into relevant policy, planning and management. Recommendations are made for specific knowledge user groups, such as policy makers, social and health professionals, protected areas professionals, and researchers, with the ultimate objective of better linking human health and well-being and protected areas policies to enhance delivery mechanisms for health promotion activities.