Recreational physical activity in natural environments and implications for health: A population based cross-sectional study in England


ECEHH colleagues Mat White and Lewis Elliott have published new research which details an analysis of recreational physical activity undertaken in England’s natural environments. The authors used Natural England’s Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment data set and found that:

  • A considerable total amount of physical activity takes place in natural environments
  • Over 8 million English adults engage in physical activity in natural environments each week.
  • The annual value of physical activity in natural environments was estimated to be approximately £2.18 billion*. This represents considerable public health gain.

The evidence adds to the argument that natural environments should be protected and managed as a means to promote health. The work was carried out as a part of the NIHR Health Protection Unit in Environmental Change and Health.

*assuming the social value of a Quality Adjusted Life Years to be £20,000

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