Outdoor exercise helps to reduce society's health inequalities
Outdoor exercise delivers an estimated £2.2bn of health benefits to adults in England each year. A study from the European Centre for Environmental and Human Health at the University of Exeter presented their findings in the journal Preventative Medicine.
The study highlights how by encouraging more people to use parks may help reverse the trend of rising levels of obesity in the UK. The study focused only on those who used natural environments to exercise, the study did not include those who used gyms or exercised indoors.
The data revealed a "socio-economic gradient" showing those from higher socio-economic groups tended to be more active outdoors than those from lower socio-economic groups. Crucially among the two groups, once they were in the same environment, outdoors, the level of activity was the same. The study concluded that encouraging people from lower socio-economic groups to go to these essentially free environments would help reduce some of society's health inequalities.