A National Assessment of Physical Activity in US National Forests

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Abstract:

In an era of declining timber harvests on federal lands, the US Forest Service has sought to better describe the public benefits associated with the nation's continued investment in managing the national forests. We considered how national forests contribute to public health by providing significant outdoor recreation opportunities. Physical inactivity has become a persistent national concern owing to its association with chronic diseases, obesity, and other public health concerns. We estimated the net energy expenditure (in calories) for a range of outdoor recreation activities engaged in by visitors to national forests. We conclude that national forest contributions to physical activity among the American public likely are significant and could be enhanced with continued and targeted investments in recreation infrastructure and public outreach.

Keywords: Kids in the Woods; US Forest Service; obesity; outdoor recreation; public health

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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