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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2017 Jun - Jul;60(1):152-158. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2017.05.010. Epub 2017 May 31.

Public Park Spaces as a Platform to Promote Healthy Living: Introducing a HealthPark Concept.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address: raarena@uic.edu.
2
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
3
Grant Park Conservancy, Chicago, IL, USA.
4
School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, Australia.
5
Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School-the University of Queensland School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA.
6
Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Abstract

The concept of Healthy Living (HL) as a primary medical intervention continues to gain traction, and rightfully so. Being physically active, consuming a nutritious diet, not smoking and maintaining an appropriate body weight constitute the HL polypill, the foundation of HL medicine (HLM). Daily use of the HL polypill, working toward optimal dosages, portends profound health benefits, substantially reducing the risk of chronic disease [i.e., cardiovascular disease (CVD), pulmonary disease, metabolic syndromes, certain cancers, etc.] and associated adverse health consequences. To be effective and proactive, our healthcare system must rethink where its primary intervention, HLM, is delivered. Waiting for individuals to come to the traditional outpatient setting is an ineffective approach as poor lifestyle habits are typically well established by the time care is initiated. Ideally, HLM should be delivered where individuals live, work and go to school, promoting immersion in a culture of health and wellness. To this end, there is a growing interest in the use of public parks as a platform to promote the adoption of HL behaviors. The current perspectives paper provides a brief literature review on the use of public parks for HL interventions and introduces a new HealthPark model being developed in Chicago.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic disease; Nutrition; Physical activity; Prevention

PMID:
28576674
DOI:
10.1016/j.pcad.2017.05.010

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