How to Enhance Access to Parks, Nature and Outdoor Physical Activity

In “Nature Contact as a Means to Health and Physical Activity,” we explored the benefits of nature contact and barriers that King County youth face in discovering their nearby parks, trails, mountains, and bodies of water. This post will look into the importance of the built environment in promoting outdoor play and what regional organizations are doing to enhance access to the robust outdoor recreation opportunities in this region. 

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Can Screens and Physical Activity Coexist?

State of Play: Seattle-King County revealed that screen usage is only one factor contributing to low rates of physical activity in King County youth. Lack of adequate infrastructure alongside culturally and economically exclusive programming form the backbone of barriers to participation. 

Even so, data from our survey of over 1,000 King County youth showed strong relationships between screen time and physical activity, organized sport, and outdoor recreation participation. Some key findings include: