“This can be a worth that’s already embedded within the construction of our present society, it’s one thing that’s all the time been there, it simply wasn’t recognised beforehand,” Professor Buckley stated.
“Once we go to a nationwide park and really feel higher due to it, this quantity measures that worth.”
About 10 per cent of Australia’s GDP is spent on psychological well being points, and the researchers estimate this could possibly be 7.5 per cent increased if there have been no nationwide parks.
Nationwide parks are believed to offset $29 billion in well being prices in Queensland, whereas the workforce extrapolated the worldwide determine to $eight.7 trillion.
Dr Ali Chauvenet, one of many co-authors of the examine, stated poor psychological well being lowered office productiveness and was felt by everybody in the neighborhood.
“Defending nationwide parks is vital not simply due to conventional concepts comparable to biodiversity and defending the surroundings, however as a result of folks’s wellbeing and psychological well being can be affected if these weren’t there,” she stated.
Professor Buckley stated he hoped the findings would give a very good indication of the inherent worth of nationwide parks, which he feared was changing into ignored.
He stated many parks departments have been underneath stress to attempt to generate cash from their parks by partnering with tourism operators, however the analysis confirmed the parks themselves needs to be the main target.
“From a state treasury perspective you get an even bigger return from parks if you may get lots of people to go without cost,” he stated.
“Should you encourage folks to enter parks and also you pay the parks service to run these parks then the payback by way of improved psychological well being and productiveness is way, a lot greater than something you’ll get out of tourism growth.”
The workforce hopes to do additional analysis sooner or later drilling right down to the person psychological well being advantages of visiting nationwide parks.
“It’s doable that park visits might then turn out to be a routine a part of the healthcare system, prescribed by medical doctors and funded by insurers,” Dr Chauvenet stated.
The analysis has been printed within the journal Nature Communications.
Stuart Layt covers well being, science and expertise for the Brisbane Occasions. He was previously the Queensland political reporter for AAP.