Oregonians’ participation in outdoor recreation activities saves the state $1.4 billion annually in health care costs, according to a report released by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Adult Oregonians engaged in the 30 outdoor recreation activities on 794 million user occasions that expended 503 billion kcals of energy, which is equivalent to 144 million pounds of body fat that would fill 29.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The video above (unrelated to the report) also talks about the health benefits of skiing and exercise with Dr. Bobby Lazzara providing a Medical News Minute that featured Mt. Hood Meadows.
The report, Health Benefits for Oregonians from their Outdoor Recreation Participation in Oregon, calculates how much energy people expend when engaging in outdoor recreation, and the corresponding reduction in costs related to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, depression, dementia, diabetes and several cancers. In 2014, these chronic conditions made up five of the top ten leading causes of death (Maizlish 2016).
Health benefits directly related to winter sport activities
Total energy expended by Oregonians pursuing snow sports is more than 17 Billion kCals annually!
And the Cost of Illness savings is between $11 million and $37 million annually.
Download the entire report
Daily physical activity provides multiple benefits to people such as increased memory function and improved quality of sleep. This state of physical inactivity and associated chronic illnesses is a public health concern, as well as an economic burden. In the U.S., 11.1% of aggregate health care expenditures can be attributed to insufficient physical activity and sedentarism (Carlson et al. 2015). The report concludes, “Sitting is the new smoking.”