New Report: 25% Drop in Number of Park Visits, Outdoor Activities

“Videophilia” (the love of television and computer screens) seems to be winning out over the love of nature. In a new report published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found evidence of “a fundamental and pervasive shift away from nature-based recreation.” By counting trips to state and local parks, along with the issuance of hunting and fishing licenses over the past 25 years, the Nature Conservancy-sponsored report found 18 percent and 25 percent declines in various types of outdoor recreation.

“The replacement of vigorous outdoor activities by sedentary, indoor videophilia has far-reaching consequences for physical and mental health, especially in children,” wrote co-authors Oliver R. W. Pergams and Patricia A. Zaradic a statement. “Videophilia has been shown to be a cause of obesity, lack of socialization, attention disorders and poor academic performance.”

The abstract can be found here, and here is the full report [subscription required; pdf].

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