This PhD Project, funded by the University of Hull, aims to develop a model for effectively implementing greenspace physical activity programmes in economically-disadvantaged areas of the East Riding region. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought considerable challenges for physical activity. Evidence suggests that economically disadvantaged communities are less likely to use existing greenspace areas and/or may have less access to well-maintained greenspaces. However, the East Riding of Yorkshire region is well-positioned to become the vanguard for understanding how to redress social inequalities in this respect.
The health benefits of physical activity in greenspace (i.e. open, underdeveloped land with natural vegetation, urban parks, public open spaces, etc.) were brought to the fore during lockdown and consolidated by the Environment Secretary’s announcement of a £4M pilot project to assess the health impacts of “green prescribing”. This initiative involves a shift from GP prescriptions of established medication regimens towards “green exercise prescriptions” (e.g. outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, working on conservation projects, gardening, etc.) as a means of improving physical and mental health.The project involves working with a wide range of partner institutions, including East Riding of Yorkshire Council Public Health and local charity leaders, as well as Team GB.
Researchers: PhD candidate Esther Carter; supervisors Prof John Saxton and Dr Caroline Douglas