High Tech Treasure Hunt Gets Teens Outside

Geocaching can help teens reach daily physical activity

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Technology has taken its toll on young people. They’re spending more time on screens – computer, phones, gaming systems, etc. – than they’re spending outside. Geocaching game can help.

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that uses a GPS device with coordinates and clues to locate hidden containers, known as caches. The caches contain a treasure or a log sheet that shows others who has conquered the hunt.

Geocaching takes place in national parks, recreational parks, just about anywhere that's outside. It's fun for the entire family - whether you enjoy a little competitiveness or just some good old- fashioned family time.

"Play geocaching with you children to stay active."

A survey from the Appalachian State University was given to 56 teenagers aged 13 to 17. The survey measured enjoyment in exercise, technology, being outdoors and geocaching.

Most teenagers said they enjoy exercising, technology and prefer being active outside. They also said that geocaching is more exciting than walking.

With that information in mind, researchers measured the amount of time teens spent on the television or computer and physical activity. They found that 69.6 percent of the teens were physically active for less than five days a week, and 57.1 percent were physically active for less than three days a week. They also found that teens were spending, on average, more than 10 hours a week on television, computer or video games.

With all this enthusiasm for exercising and outdoors, you would think teens would be more active. But that’s not the case – at all.

Rebecca Batista, Ph.D. and lead author said the study showed most of the teens aren’t getting enough physical activity daily because technology is distracting them. She adds that geocaching might just be the thing to get teens moving, active and engaged.

There are many online communities that take part in geocaching. To find your local community and for more information go to www.geocaching.com.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 7, 2011
Last Updated:
June 10, 2011