The abililty to engage in outdoor activities contribute to human physical and psychological health by providing opportunities for exercise, mastery, relationship building (with nature, friends, family and pets), and spiritual and aesthetic practices. Combined, the place-specific aspect of these activities contributes to one's sense of place.
Oregon State University Human Dimensions Lab
Data are collected every 2 years via paper survey to a random sample of Puget Sound households. The population chosen for this survey was a clustered random sample of Puget Sound residents, with an initial sample of 9,000. Due to undeliverable addresses, the total sample reached was less than 9,000. In 2020, the response rate was 25 percent for a total of 1,843 respondents.
Also appended is a 2021 purposive sample of 180 Latinx respondents who were selected using a variety of techniques, including:
This one-time survey was conducted to approach Latinx respondents in diverse, potentially more culturally-appropriate ways, to determine if the Latinx respondents to our general public survey significantly differ from the overall Latinx population of Puget Sound (e.g., do Latinx respondents to our biennial random sample survey represent a biased group of Latinx?). To answer this question we compared the responses to the purposive sample to 1) all non-Latinx respondents in the general public survey and 2) only Latinx respondents to the general public survey.
Multivariate linear regression models for each outdoor activity explained between two to 12 percent of the variation in responses based on demographics. People who used both paved and unpaved trails were more likely to be white, newer to the region and liberal. People who engaged in gardening more frequently were more likely to live in an urban area and people who said they engaged in wildlife viewing were more likely to be newer to the region, live in an urban area, and be liberal. We should be careful to interpret that these are direct reflections of outdoor activities, however, as there could be elements of interpretation related to people's responses. Some people may not consider daily work around the home to be 'gardening or yardwork' nor their normal observation of nature to be 'wildlife viewing.' These response options for activities fit specific interpretations of human-nature interactions.
This is the second iteration of collecting these data, and the first for Fall and Spring. We do not anticipate significant differences to appear until several years of monitoring.
The Puget Sound Partnership believes in the transparency and accessibility of the data used to address progress measures. These data are provided by contributing partners to the Partnership and are made publicly available through the Puget Sound Info site. These data are available on an "as is" basis and the Partnership is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. Please acknowledge the monitoring program and data source when using these data and obtain permission from the Vital Sign Indicator Reporter to use these data in a publication.