New Survey: Americans Use Local Parks to Relieve Stress

(June 4, 2018)

Gathering with friends, family or pets at a local park among Americans’ top stress busters 

Ashburn, Va. (June 4, 2018) — According to a recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), more than half (58 percent) of Americans manage their daily stress by going for a walk or run around their neighborhood. Others rely on their local parks, which are free and accessible to all, to relieve stress. 

Thirty-six percent of Americans use a trail for hiking, running or walking to relieve stress, while 35 percent gather with family, friends or pets at a local park. Millennials (89 percent) and parents (90 percent) are more likely to do any of these activities to manage their daily stress compared to Americans overall (84 percent). Baby boomers are more likely to head to the garden to relieve stress.    

“Parks are a terrific place to get healthy and relieve stress,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “Everyone, no matter their age, should take advantage of the physical and mental health benefits that parks provide.”   

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. NRPA encourages everyone to discover the health benefits of parks on Family Health & Fitness Day, Saturday, June 9, 2018.

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit   

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit   


About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit