Kou, Ribling

Natural environments of local parks and their impacts on physical activity of older people





School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Queen's University Belfast
Level 3
David Keir Building
Stranmillis Road
Belfast BT9 5AG
Northern Ireland



+44 (0)2890 974254


Current Research:

A growing body of research has shown that natural environments are associated with humans’ health mentally and physiologically. Local parks offer people opportunities for contacting with natural environments,social interaction and physical activity,which are genuinely considered as three key factors that influence people’s health. To be more specific, exposure to nature environments can help reduce stress and recovery in individuals, natural environments do have rehabilitation effects, it is beneficial to psychological and physical health of human beings. Thus,it is reasonable to hypothesize that well-designed local parks which are consistent to the preferences of older residents may influence their willingness to be more active and get more engaged in physical activity, which in turn is beneficial to the health of older people. This project aims to explore the relationship between the qualities of local parks and physical activity. We need to understand how older people experience, understand and interact with natural environments of local parks, what attracts or deters them, what qualities make them feel at ease, enjoyable and comfortable. Establishing a salutogenic model to attract more older people to spend more time in natural environments more frequently, to increase their physical activity levels and then to improve health. In short this research aims to understand the mechanism by examining the relationships between health, physical activity and the qualities of local parks.

Supervisors: Prof Geraint Ellis


Queen’s University Belfast / China Scholarship Council Joint Scholarship, 2016