Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Study Reveals Health Benefits of Geocaching

Geocaching_LogoTexas A&M and the CDC have released a study showing that geocaching is healthier than not geocaching. Of course, I doubt that anyone thought geocaching was really bad for your health, but it’s always nice to know something you do is good for you! In this study, they tracked 1,000 geocachers throughout the U.S. aged 18-77 who geocached at least once a week. The study lasted for a year.

They found that the average geocacher walked 10 miles per month while geocaching alone, and around 1.5 miles on each trip and estimated that these geocachers would average about 72 geocaching trips a year. In technical terms, this means that participants averaged 130 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, which is just under the CDC’s weekly recommendation of 150 minutes—and that is JUST geocaching, not walking around the supermarket or going to the gym or any other physical activity. Overall, active geocachers were 40% more likely to meet the weekly recommendations for physical activity than others.

They also found that participants reported improved health status and fewer days of poor mental and physical health than a comparative sample. The study itself was designed to test the theory that nontraditional methods of physical activity are just as effective for a healthy lifestyle.

So next time someone looks at you oddly for walking in circles staring up into trees or bending over double to look in likely hiding places, you can just smile and have one more reason to continue doing what you love!

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