And the physical activity associated with these visits burns 290 billion food calories. That equals enough french fries laid end to end to reach the Moon and back—twice—according to a recent study in the Journal of Forestry.
While the recent strategic plan of the U.S. Forest Service includes sustaining and enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities, the benefits of exercise and outdoor recreation also are recognized by President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative to reconnect Americans with their landscapes, as well as the First Lady's Let's Move Outside campaign.
But how exactly do our national forests contribute to helping people develop a healthier lifestyle? A recently published study may reveal some answers.
"We examined the extent that national forests might provide public health benefits by estimating the net energy expended for a range of outdoor activities engaged in by visitors to national forest lands," explains research forester Jeff Kline. "We did this by combining data describing national forest visitors' outdoor recreation activities with data characterizing the calories expended with each type of physical activity."
Kline, a scientist with the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station, and Oregon State University co-authors, Randall Rosenberger and Eric White, recently published their findings in the September issue of the Journal of Forestry. The article, "A National Assessment of Physical Activity in U.S. National Forests," contends that national forests can help Americans meet guidelines for regular physical activity set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Key findings from the study include:
Prevention guidelines regarding regular aerobic physical activity for a year.
The distribution of these health benefits may vary with proximity and income. Fifty-two percent of recreation visits are by people who live within 60 miles of a national forest. These "local" visitors are more likely to come from lower household income groups than non-local visitors, with 45 percent earning less than $50,000 per year versus 25 percent for non-local visitors.
National forests in the Western states account for the greatest share of all outdoor recreation visits (75 percent) and associated net energy expenditures (75 percent). However, national forests in the Northeast and Southeast yield proportionally greater net energy expenditures because they are closer to major population centers compared to the west, and their visitors tend to engage in more intensive physical activities.
To read the entire report, visit www.safnet.org/publications/jof/index.cfm.
The Pacific Northwest Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11 laboratories and centers in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, and about 425 employees.
Sherri Richardson Dodge | EurekAlert!
Combination of Resistance Genes Offers Better Protection for Wheat against Powdery Mildew
22.01.2018 | Universität Zürich
New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
17.01.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
23.01.2018 | Life Sciences
23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy