Presentation at the 2004 Active Living Research Annual Conference
This article interprets the origins, concepts and research literature in the academic areas of leisure studies and parks and recreation management as they pertain to the goals of the Active Living Research program. We review the origins of both of these highly related academic areas, public provision of recreation and park services, the relation of transportation design and policy to recreation and parks, concepts and methods used in these fields of study, and environmental, policy and design correlates. Finally, we propose ways of further integrating leisure studies and recreation and park management into transdisciplinary research to increase active living.
The thesis is developed that recreation and park management and leisure studies have much to contribute to the promotion of active living, since leisure may have become the most easily manipulatable part of life in regard to movement of the human body. While, historically, these fields have been identified with the promotion and facilitation of physically active forms of leisure, this paper identifies significant challenges to the field to become more centrally aligned with the active living movement.