filed under: health and social benefits
A Literature Review Prepared By Sara Perrins and Dr. Gregory Bratman of the University of Washington for the Recreation and Conservation Office.
by Washington Recreation and Conservation Office, RCFB Grants Section Manager
The Washington State Legislature directed the Recreation and Conservation in Section 304(3) of the 2018 state operating budget to conduct a study of the economic and health benefits of trail-based activities, including hiking, walking, and bicycling. This study presents a literature review of the health benefits – physical, mental, cognitive and social – from nature contact and presents findings from over 100 studies that identify evidence of close associations between health benefits and being outdoors. Because this is a new and emerging field of study, the studies cited in this report go beyond the specificity of health benefits resulting from recreational trails in Washington to include the health benefits from nature contact as observed in the United States and other countries. There is an accompanying report prepared by EcoNorthwest1 detailing the economic, environmental and social benefits of recreational trails in Washington state.
Published October 2019
Hiking is widely recognized as one of the healthiest hobbies anyone can have, and for a good reason too. When we break it down to plain physics, walking activates most muscle groups, which not only keeps us in shape but also conditions us to become more resilient to all bodily ailments and harms.
This second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides science-based guidance to help people ages 3 years and older improve their health through participation in regular physical activity.
This manuscript explains how mountain biking is related to public health and the issues underlying trail access in the United States.
In recent years, competitive mountain biking has attracted the interest of sport scientists, and a small but growing number of physiological studies have been published. The aim of this review is to provide a synthesis of this literature and directions for future research.