News Release GO Day Fights Obesity

NATIONAL GET OUTDOORS DAY USES FUN TO FIGHT OBESITY

This news release is available as a .pdf here.

Washington, D.C. (July 28, 2014) - Tens of thousands of American youth discovered that it can be fun to be healthy at National Get Outdoors Day events in June. Youth spend nearly eight hours a day in front of a screen, and America faces a health crisis as a result. Sedentary lifestyles are prompting an obesity epidemic that means today’s kids may live shorter lives than their parents. Growing numbers of healthcare professionals now tout outdoor, active fun as a remedy to these trends.

National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) has been a nationwide effort to invite people to get outdoors since 2008 to be healthy and to share the legacy of great outdoors places. 2014's GO Day was the largest yet with 171 official sites in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Events across the country offered opportunities for people and families to experience traditional and non-traditional outdoor activities such as rock climbing, bicycling, kayaking, and geocaching, as well as educational opportunities like water safety and recycling.

Several GO Day sites around the country were designated Signature Sites. This designation is given to sites which have proven the ability to effectively introduce lots of people to the Great Outdoors through a wide variety of activities. Each of these events is made of possible through partnerships with dozens, and in some cases hundreds, of partners. GO Day’s National Sponsor OFF!® Played a key role at these sites, including: St. Louis, MO; Denver, CO; Olympia, WA; Vancouver, WA; Dearborn, MI; Lithia Springs, GA (Atlanta Metro Area); and Minneapolis, MN.

In Georgia, OFF!® sponsored a fishing pond and co-sponsored Radio Disney’s appearance at the first ever Get Outdoors Georgia Day. In St. Louis, OFF!® sponsored a climbing wall and the public address system. OFF!® also helped support presentations by park rangers, youth organizations, guides and more.

Three governors hosted Capital Campouts for urban youth as part of GO Day efforts. Governor Nathan Deal (R-GA) joined youths for outdoor activities in Sweetwater Creek State Park near Atlanta, Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) took part at Denver’s City Park and Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA) hosted youths on the lawn of the governor’s residence in Olympia.

GO Day was mentioned in 20 gubernatorial Great Outdoors Month proclamations: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Proclamations by all 50 governors and the President, plus PSAs from Governors Mike Beebe (D-AR) and Butch Otter (R-ID) urging citizens to get outdoors, can be found here.

“Support for GO Day has grown as the value of outdoor fun to mental and physical health has become clear,” said Derrick Crandall, American Recreation Coalition (ARC) President. “New partners from health and education and economic development organizations, have joined us, and media coverage has boomed." ARC and the Forest Service coordinate GO Day nationally.