The natural outdoors and health: assessing the value and potential contribution of secondary public data sets in the UK to current and future knowledge

Jung Jin Park, Liz O'Brien, Jenny Roe, Catharine Ward Thompson, Richard Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

UK policy interest in the health effects of the outdoors has grown rapidly in recent years. In parallel, the research community's effort to strengthen the evidence base for the relationships between the outdoors and health has also increased. However, little has been done to explore quantitative secondary public data sets conducted by government departments and agencies to improve the evidence base on understanding such links. This paper aims to provide an overview of potentially valuable secondary public data sets and to assess their relevance for adding to the existing evidence base on the health effects of the natural outdoors. The search identified 41 data sets dealing with the outdoors/outdoor use, health or both. Review results indicated that, due to their large scale, extensive coverage, and continuous or longitudinal nature, knowledge included in secondary public data sets could be a valuable addition to the current evidence base and provide useful baseline information for future studies. This paper also identifies some aspects of secondary public data which could be improved, establishing a stronger knowledge base for the health effects of the natural outdoors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-279
Number of pages11
JournalHealth & Place
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Natural outdoor use
  • Physical activity
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Secondary publicdatasets

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