TRP help health clubs, leisure centres and gyms across the globe create happy, loyal members through our user-friendly software which enables effective engagement and the delivery exceptional customer…read more
Research project to investigate how green spaces impact health
Questions surrounding the benefits and value of living near parks and green spaces are to be examined in a $3.2 million research project developed through the Horticulture Innovation Australia Green Cities fund, in partnership with the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab (PowerLab), part of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Wollongong.
The five-year research project entitled ‘Greener Cities Healthier Lives’ will be led by two of Australia’s leading green space and public health researchers – Associate Professor Thomas Astell-Burt and Dr Xiaoqi Feng.
Associate Professor Astell-Burt said the rapid urbanisation of the global population has resulted in large, often sprawling and mostly grey cities with people living in medium-to-high rise buildings with little greenery nearby, particularly in low-income and socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods, where mental and physical health problems also tend to cluster.
He explained “parks are great places to be physically active and meet with friends and family, both of which we already know are important for our health.
“But we also theorise that green spaces help provide places where we can find relief from the noise and air pollution associated with heavy traffic in our cities, as well as locations to relax and recuperate from stressful things that occur daily in our lives.”
Dr Feng said the new project brings together many senior and junior researchers to explore several important questions for the first time in Australia, stating “with prior evidence including our own suggesting that exposure to greenery helps us feel well and live longer, healthier lives, this suggests that green spaces do more than ‘pretty up’ our neighbourhoods
“This project will address the key overarching research question now for industry and policy makers: what is the ideal amount of local green-space that helps to keep all of us healthy and out of hospital?
“We recognise that there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, and how people use green space is often dependent upon their age, which is why we will examine relevant outcomes and pathways that relate to pregnancy, childhood, adulthood and seniors.”
The research will cover five key themes:
• Pregnancy and perinatal health - can living near parks and other green-spaces result in better pregnancy health outcomes?
• Child health and educational attainment - can a child’s wellbeing and academic scores be linked to the amount of vegetation around their neighbourhood?
• Adult mental health and chronic disease risk - do adults in greener areas experience better mental and physical health, do more physical activity and visit emergency departments less?
• Health service use and healthcare costs
• Green space preferences and outdoor recreation among seniors - what types of greenery are preferred among retirees for getting outdoors and participating in physical and social recreation more often?
The PowerLab team will draw on existing and bespoke data as part of the research project, including the study of NAPLAN results to provide the first insights in Australia on green-space and educational attainment, longitudinal studies of mental health and chronic disease in relation to green-space and hospital admissions and health service costs associated with local green-spaces.
This research is among the first round of projects to be funded through the Horticulture Innovation Australia Green Cities strategic co-investment fund – an initiative that aims to invest in strategic longer-term research that drives a measurable increase in urban green-space.
Horticulture Innovation Australia Chief Executive John Lloyd added “this exciting project will not only inform the recommendations the nursery and landscape industries make to their clients, it will also enhance awareness of new understandings of green-space and health within the academic community internationally.”
The research and investigator team led by the PowerLab spans four faculties at UOW (Social Sciences, Science Medicine and Health, Engineering and Information Sciences; Business).
It also includes investigators from the Early Start Research Institute, the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and the South Western Sydney Local Health District, ensuring excellent clinical expertise and strong connections to national decision-makers in the health and education sectors.
This project is being delivered in line with the 202020Vision – a collaborative initiative that is working to make Australia’s urban areas 20% greener.
Images:Nature Play in Melbourne's Royal Park (top), Sydney's Hyde Park (middle) and fitness in Perth's Kings Park (below).
30th September 2016 - WORLD PARKS CONGRESS RESOLUTIONS RECOGNISE THE VALUE OF URBAN OPEN SPACE
17th July 2016 - $10 MILLION INITIATIVE TO CHANGE THE GREENING OF PUBLIC SPACES
22nd May 2016 - LIVEABLE CITIES NEED EXPERIENCE-BUILDING PARKS
10th April 2015 - DEAKIN UNIVERSITY STUDY INTO THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PARKS
5th March 2014 - 100 PARTNERS BACK 202020 VISION FOR AUSTRALIA’S URBAN GREEN SPACE
8th March 2012 - URBAN DESIGN CAN BOOST ACTIVITY AND HEALTH
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…read more
Trisley's Hydraulic Services P/L (THS) are a specialised pool company dealing with all aspects of the commercial swimming pool industry, including the installation and servicing from the smallest…read more
Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia and Australia, Technogym exports its…read more
Activating skyscapes for tourism, art, leisure and living TouchCloud Global (TCg) is a highly specialised international consultancy, broker and principal, devoted solely to activating and energising…read more
Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 25 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…read more
Tim Batt Water Solutions are at the very forefront of the commercial aquatic business in Australia, with over 30 years specific experience supplying and installing chemical control and dosing…read more
Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!