Walking as a De-stressor

A recent NRPA Park Pulse survey found that the majority of Americans go on a walk through their neighborhood or local trails when they need to relax. Personally, whenever I need time to clear my head of life's daily stressors, I head outside to one of Durham's many trails to unwind. This wellness blog will provide you with more information on the power of spending time being active outside.

Each month, the NRPA Park Pulse survey polls Americans on issues concerning recreation and parks. This month, the survey asked "What out-of-home activities do you do to help manage daily stress?" Here are the key findings of the recent survey:

  • Nearly three in five Americans go for a walk or run around their neighborhood to manage daily stress

  • Thirty-six percent of people head to the trails to hike, walk or run to lessen their stress

  • One in three Americans visit their local parks with friends, family members or pets to de-stress

  • Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to hit the trail or park to lower stress levels while baby boomers are more likely to head to the garden

This survey once again emphasizes the importance that outdoor spaces play in many people's lives. Your department likely plays a huge role in providing safe spaces for your community to get outside and de-stress.

Additionally, this survey is further evidence that parks and green space should be easy for everyone to access. The 10-minute walk to a park campaign strives to offer this.

According to NRPA, one and three Americans do not have a park within a 10-minute walk. That’s a number totaling more than 100 million people!

"Living close to parks and other recreation facilities is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth. Moreover, parks provide a connection to nature, which studies demonstrate relieves stress levels, tightens interpersonal relationships and improves mental health."

The 10-minute Walk campaign is the start of a multi-year partnership between cities and mayors across America to increase access to parks. According to NRPA, “Beginning in 2018, the campaign partners will be working with cities across the country on measurable policies and strategies to advance the 10- minute walk vision.”

A 10-minute walk to a park is important for a variety of reasons. First, the health and wellness benefits of park access are overwhelming. Research shows that walking for 30 minutes per day reduces the risk for depression, heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis. Additionally, people living within a 10-minute walk of a park are more likely to participate in physical activity and have lower rates of obesity. For more information on the health benefits of walking in local parks, check out this video!

Until next time,


#Walking #Stress #Destress

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