Why is Recreation Important?
There are many different ways recreation can postively impact a community. From health to economic benefits, the list is extensive.
Health and Environmental Benefits
- Parks and recreation facilities are the places that people go to get healthy and stay fit.
- According to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, creating, improving and promoting places to be physically active can improve individual and community health and result in a 25 percent increase of residents who exercise at least three times per week.
- Many studies show significant correlations between participating in recreation and reductions in stress, lowered blood pressure, and perceived physical health.
- Recreation spaces provide a place for children and families to connect together.
- Along with an increase in physical activity, recreation offers the chance to socialize, an important benefit in itself.
- Recreation activities can lead to increased confidence, improved creativity and better self-esteem,
- Recreation allows some to rejuvenate, calm the mind, improve their outlook on life and increase positive affect.
- Parks are a tangible reflection of the quality of life in a community. They provide identity for citizens and are a major factor in the perception of quality of life in a given community. Parks and recreation services are often cited as one of the most important factors in surveys of how livable communities are.
- Recreation areas provide gathering places for families and social groups, as well as for individuals of all ages and economic status, regardless of their ability to pay for access.
- Parks and recreation programs provide places for health and well-being that are accessible by persons of all ages and abilities, especially to those with disabilities.
- Recreation is linked to improving quality of life.
- Access to parks and recreation opportunities has been strongly linked to reductions in crime and to reduced juvenile delinquency.
- Recreation programs and parks provide a sense of public pride and cohesion to every community.
- Spending at local and regional public parks contributed $140 billion in economic activity and generated nearly 1 million jobs in 2013. When combined with the National Park Service and state park systems, public parks are responsible for $200 billion in annual economic activity (NRPA, 2016).
- Parks improve the local tax base and increase property values.
- Quality parks and recreation are cited as one of the top three reasons that business cite in relocation decisions in a number of studies.
For more information on the value and benefits of recreation and parks visit the National Recreation and Parks Association website - www.nrpa.org