Country park visits good for health and happiness: survey

June 25, 2019 17:45
Almost half of respondents in a HKU survey said they consider country parks to be ‘important’ or ‘extremely important’ to their life. Photo: HK Govt

A survey has found that a majority of people visited country parks in the past year, and that such trips can be deemed to have a correlation with people's health and happiness.

According to a study conducted by the University of Hong Kong, 56.1 percent of the respondents said they visited country parks at least once over the past one year.

Country park users averaged 5.9 visits or about once every 2 months in the past year. Among the park goers, hiking was the most common purpose of their visits, followed by leisure walks and barbecue.

HKU's LKS Faculty of Medicine (HKUMed) collaborated with the WYNG Foundation on the Trailblazer Project, which aims to determine Hongkongers’ country park usage and its relationship with the “3Hs”: health, happiness, and harmony.

Almost half of the respondents consider country parks to be “important” or “extremely important” to their life.

Analyses of survey data suggest that country park users have better self-reported health and a higher level of happiness than non-users.

The Trailblazer Project team believes the study will provide useful data for the government when developing relevant policies on country parks, including management, facilities and public education.

Hong Kong has designated 40 percent of its landmass as country parks, a figure that has been hailed as the highest among major cities.