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As Childhood Obesity Rates Rise, Youth Outdoor Participation Declines
Date:1/12/2009

everse the growing inactivity crisis among youth and the growing disconnect between youth and the outdoors.

"Children in America are suffering from the effects of obesity and inactivity at unprecedented levels," said Chris Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. "Teaching youth the benefits of a healthy active outdoor lifestyle will ensure healthier children, healthier communities, and healthier businesses."

Key findings contained in the report are:

Participation Among All Americans

  • Participation in outdoor activities increased in 2007 to 50.0% of Americans - from 134.4 million American participants in 2006 to 138.4 million Americans.
  • Americans made an estimated 11.36 billion outdoor excursions in 2007 -- either close to home, in a nearby park or on an overnight trip.

Youth Participation

  • Participation among youth ages 6 to 17 dropped over 11% in 2007.
  • Participation among boys and girls age 6-12 experienced the sharpest drop. Girls had the biggest decline falling from 77% to 61%. Boys fell from 79% to 72%.
  • Most youth are introduced to outdoor activities by parents, friends, family, and relatives.
  • For youth, "fun" is by far the most common motivation for participating in outdoor activities. Other motivators include discovery, exploration, new experiences, and exercise.

Diversity

  • Participation in outdoor activities is highest among Caucasians for all age groups. Participation is lowest among African Americans. Participation among African American youth is lower than Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander youth, and the consequences of this are evident in participation rates throughout adulthood.
  • Although the participation rate in outd
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SOURCE The Outdoor Foundation
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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