Putting It All Together

I am pleased to report that the data I have gathered has shown an enormously positive collective attitude towards outdoor recreational experiences, and an equally overwhelming interest in pursuing further experiences.

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Perceived Benefits of Outdoor Recreation: Gathering the data

After having finalized my survey, I have been working to get as many responses as possible.

I decided to carry out a “soft opening” of the survey, and showed it to a few friends and family members. The feedback I received from the first 11 takers of the survey was incredibly useful, and it allowed me to hear and respond to a few different perspectives. After receiving feedback, I made many changes on the wording, order of questions, and I added many more opportunities for open ended comments and “Other” checkboxes. These additions have proved to be very useful with actually collecting survey results, because I am now able to compile quantitative data, but also to isolate more personally added comments that I feel are more important or meaningful.

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Perceived Benefits of Outdoor Recreation: A Slight Shift in Focus

Since I have been in Park City, Utah, the framework of my research project has shifted slightly due to the enormous influence my summer job has had on my project. This summer, I have been working as a universal staff member at the National Ability Center in Park City. The NAC’s mission is to “empower individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence, and lifetime skills” through outdoor sports and recreation. It offers a wide range of activities including archery, water and paddle sports, high ropes course, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and much more. For three months, I have worked in close contact with people with varying abilities and disabilities, supporting their individual needs and empowering them to recreate as independently as possible.

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Abstract: Studying the Psychological and Physical Benefits of Outdoor Sports and Recreation

Both physical and mental health are a growing problem in the United States. With obesity and depression levels on the rise, it is essential for Americans to assess their current ways of life, and to make immediate (and often quite simple) changes. I have personally found that my mood on any given day is directly correlated with how much time I have spent outside, or how much time I have spent exercising my body. I want to find out if this is true for others.

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