Parks and Recreation Provides Numerous Opportunities to Manage Stress

Almost all U.S. adults (91 percent) have a preferred strategy or activity that helps manage stress, according to the latest National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Park Pulse poll.

There are numerous opportunities to unwind with local parks and recreation, whether through participating in arts and crafts as a family, exploring the local trail system, or taking an exercise or nutrition class. The most common activities among U.S. adults to unwind and de-stress are visiting a local park, taking a break from their routine, exercising outdoors, maintaining a healthy diet, expressing themselves creatively and reaching out to their support system.

Key Findings:

  • Almost all U.S. adults (91%) have a strategy or activity that helps manage stress
  • More than half (51%) of all U.S. adults and 58 percent of parents visit local parks/enjoy time in nature as a means of lessening stress
  • Fifty-eight percent of residents in the south mitigate stress by taking a break from their everyday routine
  • Fifty-seven percent of millennials look to local trails and neighborhood exercising as a stress-relief strategy
  • Forty-eight percent of baby boomers use maintaining a healthy diet as a way to manage stress

“More time spent in parks and green spaces can help individuals mitigate mental health issues like depression, anxiety and stress,” said Melissa May, NRPA senior manager of research. “Access to parks and outdoor programming is a critical way to manage stress, and park and recreation agencies provide many opportunities to individuals looking to unwind and improve their health”

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

Each month, through a poll of 1,000 U.S. residents focused on park and recreation issues, NRPA Park Pulse helps tell the park and recreation story. To learn more about NRPA’s Park Pulse and see results from previous polls, click here.