Tips & Info

New study shares benefits of walking, hiking, biking on recreational trails

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) recently shared the results of a study on the economic and health benefits of walking, hiking, and bicycling on recreational trails in the state.

As shared in the summary report, trail-based activities offer health benefits including improved cholesterol levels and protection against cardiovascular diseases. As the report states, “Outdoor exercise also can improve mood, restore attention, and decrease anger, depression, and stress. This is critical because Washington reports higher levels of adults suffering from some form of depression or mental illness and children reporting more major depressive episodes each year than the national average. Children may particularly benefit from physical activity in nature because it is more conducive to social play, emotional development, and improved cognitive function than indoor activity.”

Health benefit of trials

To review the report and summaries, visit the RCO website at: rco.wa.gov/reports-and-studies/recreation/benefits-of-recreational-trails/

View the article in The Daily Herald from Feb. 23, 2020: New study: State’s trails are more than worth the investment