In the UK illness as an outcome of sedentary lifestyles costs the UK around one billion pounds per year. Including costs to wider society, this figure rises to around £7.4bn.

Scenic and well-kept green spaces do a lot to encourage people to go outside. Parks can be a panacea for the side effects of modern living, including desk-based inactivity and isolation, prompting people to walk, talk and detach.

In 2012 researchers used satellite imagery and GPS to demonstrate that exposure to green space was positively associated with moderate to rigorous physical activity. More recently, in a study of 95,000 British people, the Universities of Oxford and Hong Kong concluded that 'greenesss' in cities was a powerful tool against the onset of depression.

Though government departments are alert to both the increasing health pandemic and the antidotal benefits of green spaces, parks funding in England and Wales has suffered aggressive cuts since 2010. Councils now have extremely limited budgets to manage parks maintenance which has led to neglect and even selling off of local green spaces. 

This expert paper, written by Erin Gianferrara and Janine Boshoff from the economics consultancy eftec, demonstrates that investment in parks, trees and other green infrastructure is not only essential for our health and longevity but also lucrative.

For more details, click here.