The Outdoor Foundation, which recently released its 2010 Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report, is reporting that Americans are spending more time outside. The report shows a 3.3% increase in what they call “core” outdoor activities (from 97.5 million to 100.7 million Americans ages 6 and above) during 2009.
The report shows participation increases in skiing, road cycling and camping, as well as a significant increase in snowshoeing, which reported a 17.4% increase over the prior year.
The report also shows that the economy has had a significant impact on how Americans are recreating. Americans are spending significantly less money on outdoor equipment as well as travel to participate in outdoor activities.
American’s surveyed indicated they preferred activities that could be “done in a day” based on costs and busy schedules; which illustrates how the economy created some vulnerability in the outdoor sports industry, as a whole, according to the study.
Christine Fanning, Executive Director of Outdoor Foundation says, “We see the economy driving people back to nature. This has tremendous implications for health and wellness issues surrounding the sharp increases in childhood obesity,” adding that, “Outdoor recreation is finally being recognized as part of the solution. Our position is that nature should be the first prescription.”
Here are a few key findings:
* Hiking saw a only slight increase of 0.2% versus the prior year, however, over a nine year period, participation in hiking has increased by 8.4%.
* After increasing by 18.5% in 2008, backpacking declined by 2.8% in the most recent year.
* Climbing (traditional, ice, mountaineering) saw a huge decline of 19.8% in 2009.
* After reporting a small decline in 2008, road cycling saw a 5.3% increase in 2009.
* The most popular sport according to overall numbers is by far walking, followed by running/jogging, then fishing. Road cycling was the 4th most popular sport, with camping ranking 5th, and hiking 6th.
* Nearly 28% of all Americans frequently participate in high calorie activities.
You can read the full report by clicking here.
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