The Purpose of Outdoor Recreation

The purpose of outdoor recreation is to provide an outdoor experience that benefits the physical and mental health of participants. Outdoor recreation encourages a healthy lifestyle by making exercise fun and improves mental health by providing opportunities to spend time in nature away from city and life stressors. In addition, outdoor recreation can add millions of dollars to the local economy. Believe it or not outdoor recreation comprises over 2% of United States Gross Domestic Product, slightly less than pharmaceuticals.

Time spent outdoors creates a space for solitude and reflection or a chance to connect with friends without the intrusion of technology

Furthermore, outdoor recreation can be relatively inexpensive if you choose to hike, bike, run, or picnic on state or federal public lands.

To this end in late 2015, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced $61 million in grant funding for 26 cities to kickstart local efforts to increase outdoor recreation in America’s most vibrant communities. The grant funding will help DEP update SCORP, the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. It also will work with the recreation and tourism industries to better connect local communities with the wonders of nature.

The department also announced the creation of the America the Beautiful Challenge, a public-private competitive grant program that will award $1 billion over the next ten years to fund conservation, restoration, and outdoor recreation in the most beautiful places in the country. A vital part of this initiative is developing a standardized set of local conservation guidelines, ensuring that communities can identify and take advantage of the most relevant and valuable resources.


Outdoor recreation is a luxury of modern civilization. While people have sought refuge in the great outdoors for health reasons for hundreds of years, adventures like bicycling, backpacking, and trail running for pleasure are relatively new activities in human histoyy. As time passes, and we spend more time indoors and on Screensaver, the connection between humans and the outdoors is changing. If we want citizens to develop a conservation mindset and want to protect the wild places on earth as well as wildlife habit, people need to spend time outdoors so they can appreciate what is worth preserving. These changes have implications for the human-nature relationship and the benefits of nature for human health.

It is now known that nature provides beneficial physical, emotional, and mental health benefits and enhances creativity. In addition, the synergistic effect of outdoor exercise and nature can improve health, happiness and self esteem.

Exercise is essential for all ages. The benefits of exercising include: metabolism and cardiovascular system enhancement, enhanced social well-being, better psychological and emotional health, and reduced risk of chronic illness.

Mental health

Among the many benefits of spending time in nature, studies have shown that it positively affects mental health. Studies suggest that exposure to green and blue spaces can lower stress and anxiety and increase socialization and resilience.

Using a systematic review approach, researchers gathered and evaluated the available literature on the mental health effects of outdoor activities. Results indicated that a majority of relevant studies exhibited a significant positive impact.

In particular, studies showed that time spent in an outdoor setting could reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Researchers are currently attempting to quantify the effects of outdoor adventures and determine if they are causally linked.

A recent study found that a nine-day hiking trip through the Alps was linked to reduced stress and improved mental health. The same was true for an analysis of youth and young adults.

Social aspect

Outdoor recreation is a great way to spend time with friends and family. It also provides physical and mental benefits. Outside helps you feel better, reduces stress and anxiety, and increases confidence. Plus, the outdoors is a great place to find new adventures.

One of the best ways to get outside is to visit a park. Aside from providing physical fitness and other health benefits, gardens can also serve as a community hub. This recreation can increase your social connection with other people, improve your creativity and reduce stress.

One of the most common ways to get outside is by playing sports. The benefits of playing outdoor sports can include lifelong learning, social inclusion and a reduction in anti-social behavior. In addition to the positive effects on physical and mental health, outdoor activities promote community cohesion and reduce crime.


Outdoor recreation is a fast-growing sector of the economy. In the US, the outdoor recreation industry supports 238,000 jobs and generates $1.8 billion in state and local tax revenue. It also provides a wide range of benefits to the community.

Cost – Benefit analysis is an essential tool in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of an outdoor recreation program. The cost – benefit ratio is a financial performance measure that allows you to compare the financial performance of an outdoor program with a commercial enterprise.

A cost – benefit ratio of less than 1.0 is a prudent use of public funds.

Cost -benefit analysis does not apply to all types of outdoor programs. However, it can be applied to able-bodied, non-commercial outdoor recreation programs.