When you think about geocaching, the first thing that probably comes to mind are GPS-enabled nerds walking around the woods or city streets in search of hidden treasure. Well, that’s in part true.
But there’s actually more to the hobby then meets the eye — or the waist line for that matter.
A new study conducted by Texas A&M found that geocachers were physically and mentally healthier than there non-geocaching compatriots.
“Geocaching is one option for people to have fun and be physically active at the same time without going to the gym and may be just what America needs to get moving,” study author Whitney Garney said in a press release.
The study was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and supported in part by Seattle-based Geocaching.com, the pioneer of the industry. Active geocachers were 40 percent more likely to meet CDC recommendations for physical activity compared to non-frequent geocachers. They also walked on average 10 miles per month while geocaching, the study said.
So, grab your smartphone and go try to find the nearest geocache. You should be in luck, since there are more than two million of them stashed all over the planet.
Not familiar with the geeky pursuit of geocaching? Here’s a quick overview. Plus, you can participate in the big geocaching block party in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood in mid-August.