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Outdoor Recreation Benefits

Outdoor Recreation Benefits

Florida has more than 15 million acres of public lands, over 10,000 miles of non-motorized land trails and about 5,000 miles of paddling trails. This adds up to one thing: numerous opportunities to explore Florida's great outdoors. Did you know...

manatee on turkey creek near Malabar with Katie Bernier of OGT by Doug Alderson, OGT

88% of Florida residents say outdoor recreation is very important to their health and quality of life (DEP/SCORP Participation Study 2021/22).

Greenways and trails are the number one outdoor recreation facility residents would like to see built in their communities (DEP/SCORP Participation Study 2021/22).

Helpful Tips!

East Coast Greenway rider in Titusville, by Doug Alderson, OGT

Currently, only 36% of Floridians are at a healthy weight, but enhanced access combined with informational outreach can increase frequency of physical activity. One study showed a 48% increase in physical activity! (DEP/SCORP 2017)

Walkers on Clermont's South Lake Trail, by Doug Alderson, OGT

Every dollar spent on walking paths saves $3 in medical expenses (American Heart Association).

People who live near safe, high quality biking and walking infrastructure tend to get more exercise than people who don’t (American Journal of Public Health).

Fitness walking/jogging is the most popular outdoor activity among Florida residents.


The Green Exercise Effect: The color green makes exercise feel easier and people are more likely to exercise more often (University of Essex, Environ Sci Technol. August, 2012).

Florida tourists spend $70 billion on outdoor recreation annually.

Relaxation is the number one reason for participating in outdoor recreation among both residents and tourists.

Top 5 Desired Facilities - Residents                     Top 5 Desired Facilities - Visitors                

1.Hiking/walking trails                                                  1.Beach access/parking

2.Biking paths/trails                                                       2.Hiking/walking trails

3.Nature/Interpretive trails                                         3.Nature/Interpretive trails

4.Community parks                                                        4.Wildlife viewing areas/overlooks

5.Wildlife viewing areas/overlooks                          5.Biking paths/trails

Source: DEP/SCORP 2016/2017

Other Benefits of Outdoor Recreation:

Lower blood pressure

Improved cardiovascular/ aerobic capacity/muscular fitness

Improved flexibility

Stronger immune system

Lower stress/anxiety/depression

Protection against disease

Improved mood/memory/self-esteem

Improved concentration/attention span

Greater productivity/creativity

Last Modified:
January 16, 2024 - 3:52pm

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