Mental health concerns continue to increase among college students. An American Health Care Association study found 60% of American college students feel “overwhelming anxiety” and 40% experience depression. Outdoor fitness equipment may provide relief from these and other issues facing college students.
The College Experience Isn’t Always What You Expect
Many students consider college to be the best time of their lives. Most young adults find the freedom exhilarating after spending years under parental supervision. This sense of adventure might seem significant on the surface, but the reality is often different.
Studies show that:
- 70% of students gain weight during college.
- 50% of students report their mental health to be below average.
- 64% of students stopped pursuing higher education due to poor mental health.
To fix this issue, many universities invest in indoor fitness equipment. Unfortunately, these indoor gyms don’t always meet the needs of students.
Benefits of Outdoor Fitness Equipment
When adults exercise outside, they are more likely to exercise longer and burn more calories. This is due to a physiological reaction the body has engaging with the outdoors.
Outdoor spaces also allow for vitamin D exposure from the sun, which can improve health issues like depression. This is especially important for students considering their days mostly consist of staying indoors.
Exercising outdoors also improves mental clarity through connecting with the environment. Psychologist Marc G. Berman published studies that state nature enhances memory and uplifts those who suffer from depressive disorders.
The Importance of Socialization
Aside from improved physical and mental health, students who participate in outdoor exercises experience a greater degree of socialization.
The social culture at an indoor gym is to put in your earbuds and look ahead while you complete your workout. Studies show college students who are more social see improved mental health and are more likely to stay in school.
Help Make a Difference
Right now is the best time for colleges and universities to consider outdoor fitness spaces. When students return, they can experience the physical and psychological benefits of exercising outdoors. So, the investment you make today will have a long-lasting impact tomorrow.
Jon Walker is the outdoor fitness product manager at GameTime. For more information, email