Most Americans Dedicate Five Hours a Week to Outdoor Play

New Survey: includes walking, hiking, biking and swimming

Ashburn, Va. (July 6, 2017) — According to a recent survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the typical American spends five hours per week on outdoor play, which includes exercising, participating in organized sports, playing with kids at a playground, taking a walk in a neighborhood or local park, or taking a swim.

More than a third (35 percent) of Americans ages 18+ polled spend more than an hour a day on average actively involved in the outdoors. That number is even higher among parents (41 percent) and Baby Boomers (41 percent), who spend more than an hour a day on average playing outdoors. A significant number of Millennials (31 percent) and Gen Xers (33 percent) spend an hour or more a day on average on outdoor play as well.

“Outdoor play is a great way for people of all ages to connect with nature and improve their overall health and wellness,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. “Anyone looking to engage in outdoor play should visit their local park or recreation center where there are opportunities for everyone.”

Research shows that outdoor play increases fitness levels and builds active, healthy bodies, especially in children. Playing outdoors is also proven to relieve stress and enhance social interactions in children and adults. Studies show that access to nature and green space, which one typically experiences while playing outdoors, has health benefits as well.  

This July, as part of Park and Recreation Month, NRPA is challenging everyone to get their play on with their local parks and recreation. Whether it’s summer camp, an adult sports league, exploring a trail, Zumba class, meeting friends on the playground, playing cards in the park or discovering nature — parks offer something fun for everyone. To learn more about Park and Recreation Month, visit www.nrpa.org/july.      

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit www.nrpa.org/Park-Pulse.   

View interactive charts with survey results.

View full-size infographic

To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.   

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