Olympics Inspire Americans to Get Active, Survey Finds

(August 8, 2016)

Americans encouraged to get active at local park and recreation centers

Ashburn, VA (August 8, 2016) — Finding a meaningful source of inspiration is key to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. A recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) found that more than half of all Americans are motivated to be more active when watching athletes compete in the Olympics.

A group of 1,017 Americans ages 18+ were asked how motivated they are to be more active as a result of watching athletes compete in the Olympics or some other sports event. The overwhelming majority, 61 percent, indicated that they are either highly motivated or somewhat motivated to be more active; 21 percent indicated that they are not very motivated; and 19 percent indicated that they are not at all motivated to be more active. 

“Deeply rooted in American tradition, the Summer Olympics showcase many sports supported by park and recreation agencies across the country,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA President and CEO. “Everyone motivated by the Olympics, regardless of age, should explore ways to get active at their local park or recreation center where there are health and wellness opportunities for all.”

Most park and recreation agencies offer programming for typical Olympic sports such as basketball, golf, swimming, tennis and volleyball. In addition, local parks provide ample green space and trails for walking/hiking and running, which can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age or ability. A survey conducted by NRPA earlier this year found that walking/hiking is a top summer outdoor activity for Americans, while swimming is a top summer outdoor activity for millennials, specifically. 

Living close to parks and other recreation facilities is consistently related to higher physical activity levels for both adults and youth. Between 2000 and 2012, more than 85 studies have been published that link parks to better physical and mental health. 

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

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 www.nrpa.org.


About The National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

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Media Contacts:

Heather Williams