Invest Outside, a new nonprofit organization on a mission to get more Americans outdoors, last week launched the Outside I Can campaign in partnership with a growing number of businesses, foundations and organizations, including REI and the Outdoor Industry Association.
The participating members are aligned around the common goal of promoting the health and wellness benefits of spending time outside.
“Studies show a strong link between proximity to nature and longer, healthier lives,” said Tom Elson, founder of Invest Outside. “We know that spending more time in nature can deliver on a range of benefits, that’s why I am thrilled that our partners have stepped up to encourage their workforce to lead healthier lives.
Americans are spending less time outside than they ever have before. The average American spends 95 percent of their life indoors and children spend half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago spending over 53 hours per week consuming electronic media.
“It is critical for every person to have equitable access to time outdoors and in nature. The Outside I Can movement has the potential to support essential healthy behaviors such as physical activity and lifelong health and well-being,” said Dr. Pooja Tandon, pediatrician and researcher, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute.
Additionally, Outside I Can is encouraging every American to join the Outside I Can campaign by taking their pledge online through social media to share personal stories about why spending time outside is important to them.
From the Partners:
Well Being Trust: “As someone who helped develop a National Park (in Central Asia) and walked trails around the world, I know being outdoors and communing with nature is vital for my mental health and well-being,” said Tyler Norris, MDiv, chief executive, Well Being Trust. “Outside I Can has the noble mission of getting more people out and about—while this undoubtedly holds the promise to improve the physical health of nation, increasing time spent outdoors will also have immense benefits to the mental health and well-being of the country. We must ensure everyone has equal access to safe places to be outdoors, in nature, and in their communities.”
Mara Hoffman: “Invest Outside’s rallying call for the public’s support of the outdoors is a breath of fresh air. This non-partisan and unifying initiative transcends all sectors and demographics by focusing on the well-being of every single American citizen, resident, and visitor. I applaud this campaign and its summons to reconnect with nature and experience its revitalizing benefits.” says Celine DeCarlo, Chief Executive Advisor of Mara Hoffman.