Although the fields of leisure studies and recreation and parks were founded on addressing health and wellness needs of people, only recently have these needs been addressed by major, systematic research efforts. This paper examines the origins of leisure studies and the study of recreation behavior and park use and their potential contribution to active living research. Over the past 2 decades, leisure studies research has generated a body of literature pertinent to understanding and increasing active living, including studies on time use, motivation for initiating and maintaining activity, influence of user fees, and urban park use. Environmental, transportation, and public recreation policy and management practices also are important considerations in recreation and parks research. This article concludes with a list of recommendations to integrate these and other considerations into transdisciplinary research on active living. Opportunities for leisure studies/recreation and park research on active living include studies of environmental, life span, and motivational influences; greater use of objective measures of physical activity; and forming partnerships with allied industries to study physical activity. Among suggestions for facilitating such studies are training seminars for leisure studies and recreation researchers in active living research methods, changes in point allocation on grant proposals, providing incentives for transdisciplinary collaboration, and special journal issues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health