Outdoor Activities Improve Mental and Physical Health

Article excerpt

Americans who participate in at least one outdoor activity on a regular basis reap mental and physical health benefits, according to a recent national study released by Outdoor Industry Foundation. The study, conducted by Harris Interactive, was entitled "Exploring the Active Lifestyles."

The report shows that 90 percent of Americans ages 16 and above believe that getting outdoors reduces their stress levels and leaves them with a sense of accomplishment. In addition to personal benefits, the study also showed that 79 percent of people feel that participating in outdoor activities with their family has actually strengthened family relationships.

The study also looked at the reasons why people become involved in outdoor activities. The findings show that the key to life-long outdoor activity participation is to start young. For instance, 90 percent of active adult participants started between the ages of 5 and 18. In addition to starting young, relational influences will also affect one's commitment to outdoor activity participation. …