The National Benefits Hub

Research that Supports Recreation

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Types and Sources of the Research

The 2011 DataBank of Benefits contains the best support documentation we could find in Canada and from around the world.

A wealth of evidence has been generated since the 1997 version of the Benefits Catalogue. As a result, this DataBank is an update of this new academic and/or grey research literature and citations and reports on the evidence to provide an even more powerful documentation of the benefits of recreation, fitness, sport, arts, culture, heritage, parks and greenspaces.

The publication and source of data on which this material is based and the research method utilized varies significantly and includes the following types of publications:

  1. Scientific Journal: Refereed or peer-reviewed, serialized, or periodical publication are all classified as "academic".
  2. Conference Proceedings: Papers presented and published in proceedings of scientific professional conference, conventions, symposia and workshops.
  3. Published Reports and Monographs: Description of studies, assessments or inquiries that are separately published and available from sponsoring organizations.
  4. Books and Book Chapters: Reference and books on related subjects and chapters therein.
  5. Theses and Dissertations: Abstracts of theses and dissertations available from the host institutions.
  6. Published and Unpublished Papers from "academic" sources: Also documents from miscellaneous sources and noted as “Grey” literature.
  7. Trade Journals and Popular Magazines: Publications for trade or general audiences that include facts, findings, ideas and opinions on the subject of benefits.

Examples of the search for benefits evidence has involved:

  • letters to and phone discussions with ‘benefit experts’ - individuals and organizations that have been producing benefits since 1997 (in Canada and the US).
  • e-mail requests for support and identification of resources through the Lifestyle Information Network (LIN), LEISURE Net (Australia) - and other new Benefits Listservs.
  • systematic search of the LIN database and the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC).
  • careful review of recent summaries of benefits by the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI), Sport Ontario, Alberta Centre for Active Living library, Canadian Parks/Recreation Association (CPRA), organizations serving arts, culture and heritage, the International Proceedings and Consensus Statement on Physical Activity, Fitness and Health along with social service and justice literature
  • extensive library searches in several universities and colleges across Canada including Vancouver Island University, University of Waterloo, University of Alberta and Brock University.

Some of the more related and holistic journals researched for this databank are the Journal of Leisure Research (Canada & Texas A & M ), World Leisure Journal, Leisure Sciences, An Interdisciplinary Journal, Leisure – Journal of Canadian Association of Leisure Studies (CALS), Leisure Studies – Journal of Leisure Studies Assn. ( U.K.), Annals of Leisure Research - (Australia & New Zealand).

Other more specific journals researched include:

  • Journal of Park & Recreation Administration, Journal of American Planning Association & Planning Literature, American Journal of Public Health, International Journal (IJ) of Behavioral Medicine, American Journal of Preventative Medicine, IJ of Behavioral Nutrition/Physical Activity, Epidemiology & Community Health and a Therapeutic Recreation Journal plus many specific health journals such as arthritis, pediatrics, etc.
  • Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Journal of Preventive Medicine, American Journal of Health Promotion, Canadian and American Journal of Public Health, Medicine and Science in sports and exercise, Physical and Health Education (CAHPERD - Canada), Research Journal of Physical Education (Japan), Journal of Physical Education /Dance
  • Journal of Sport Behaviour and Sport and Leisure (Magazine of Sports Council in England)
  • Canadian Public Research Network (CPRN) , various Foundations across Canada, the Conference Board of Canada, municipal sites, world wide web and the Canadian Index of Well being (CIW) research

Focus of ARTS, CULTURE & HERITAGE Research Sources for the Benefits DataBank

  • Creative City Network of Canada website; CECC website
  • International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA)
  • Arts Journal and the Centre for Arts and Culture (Americans for the Arts)
  • Hills Strategies; Urban Institute; Community Arts Network; Wallace Foundation
  • WolfBrown; California Arts Council
  • Arts Council England; Australia Council for the Arts
  • Department of Culture, Media, Sport (UK)
  • Portal of cultural well-being by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (NZ)
  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Conference Board of Canada
  • Canadian Conference of Arts; (Canadian Cultural Observatory)
  • Centre for Cultural Policy Research, University of Glasgow – IMPACT Database
  • Comedia; National Endowment for the Arts

Statistics Canada

Library Databases include:

  • Academic Search Premier; Multidisciplinary index to academic & popular journals.
  • Business Source Complete; business journals, industry magazines & market reports.
  • Canadian Public Policy Collection; Full text of public policy documents from Canadian institutes, think-tanks and research groups.
  • Canadian Research Index; Index to Canadian government publications from national, provincial and local jurisdictions
  • CBCA Complete; MAJOR index to Canadian publications dealing with news, business, policy and scholarly research.
  • CBCA Fulltext Reference; Covers Canadian topics including business, politics, literature, history and news events.
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete; Indexing & abstracts for over 300 journals in the fields of communication, mass media studies, linguistics and film including full text for nearly 200 journals.
  • Health Source: Consumer Edition; Popular and professional health publications.
  • Humanities & Social Sciences Index; Covers basic periodicals on all social sciences and humanities topics.
  • International Index to the Performing Arts; Multidisciplinary index to journals for the performing arts (drama, theater, dance, film, television).
  • JSTOR; Searchable, archival collection of core scholarly arts, humanities and social sciences journals.
  • Project MUSE Search; Humanities and Social Science journals.


The focus has continued to be placed on identifying and quoting from primary sources to provide a summary form of the research evidence. Secondary sources, theory or anecdotal evidence were used where appropriate.  

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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