Health and Wellness

Research shows that physical activity in the outdoors leads to better health and wellness—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Local Impact

  • Access to year-round outdoor activities via river, recreational trail network, and the riverfront promenade
  • Inclusive, free and open to all people; removal of barriers to healthy activities
  • Improved walkability in town
  • Outdoor recreation provides alternative to unhealthy distractions (drugs, crime, etc.)
  • Improved physical fitness and health
  • Improved mental and emotional wellness
  • Decreased obesity rates

State Impact

  • Maine recognized as healthy place to live, work, and visit
  • Healthier people living in the state = decrease in services for unhealthy residents

Health benefits of regular outdoor activity include weight loss, lower blood pressure, reduced arthritis pain, and lowered risk of diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.

People who engage in outdoor physical activity also report greater feelings of enjoyment, energy, vitality, restoration, and self-esteem, while access to greenspace in low-income neighborhoods has proven promising in reducing health inequalities, increasing longevity, and improving health behaviors. For children, unstructured outdoor time reduces stress and symptoms of attention disorders.

Ultimately, use of the recreation area will help to reduce obesity, battle depression and other mental disorders, abate the opioid crisis, and lower crime rates, improving quality of life and making Skowhegan a safer, healthier, and better place to live.

Next benefit: Youth Engagement