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Supporting Trails is an Investment in Health

Posted by Adam Steinberg at Apr 24, 2023 09:39 AM |

ALLtech knows the tangible health benefits of spending time on trails. That's why they encourage employees and partners to get outside and advocate for trails. By Adam Steinberg

$390 million. That’s how much Washington state residents accrue in health savings every year from trail use, according to a 2019 research study by the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office. A concurrent University of Washington study also found that “every $1 invested in trails resulted in $2.94 of savings in health care costs.”

Beyond the health savings, there are tangible health benefits for spending time on trails. According to the same 2019 RCO study, “trail-based activities offer numerous health benefits, including improved cholesterol levels and protection against chronic diseases, in addition to numerous mental health benefits.”

A hiker carries a backpack while on trail.
Ken Myer knows first-hand the benefits of hiking on his health. Photo by Ken Myer.

The link between spending time recreating outdoors and good health is what drives WTA board member Ken Myer, who also touts the value of trails as trustee for the nonprofit ALLtech Benefits Trust. 

“We believe — and the science supports — that getting outdoors in nature is good for the body and the mind,” Ken said.

A unique employee benefits platform, ALLtech offers health insurance and other benefits specifically to Washington state’s startup tech industry. ALLtech is also a leader in supporting trails, partnering with WTA for the past 4 years by dedicating more than $20,000 to help people get outside. 

ALLtech views its support for WTA’s work not just as altruism but as an investment in the well-being of the community it serves, Ken explains. ALLtech promotes WTA’s hiking features and online resources to the companies that utilize its employee benefits program. 

“We know that folks in the tech industry love the outdoors, and many of them love to get on trails,” said Ken, who sometimes shares some of his favorite hikes at “It seems only natural — sorry for the pun — to support them in learning more about the opportunities to experience our fantastic trail system.”

Hikers climb the First Burroughs. Mount Rainier stands tall in the background.
First Burroughs by Nicholas Swatz.

The team at ALLtech walks the talk by participating in Hike-a-Thon each year, encouraging their own employees and those of their partner companies to experience the health benefits of hiking. Through Ken’s leadership, ALLtech is the reigning champion of the “most money raised by a company team” category for Hike-a-Thon — no one’s been able to unseat the team for 3 years. 

WTA works hard to help people get outside every day, whether that’s by adding to our Hiking Guide or fixing a trail in need of repair. Doing this work is so much easier when we have a dedicated partner like ALLtech that prioritizes the health of Washington residents. 

“We hope that ALLtech’s involvement will encourage more organizations to partner with and support WTA,” Ken said. “They will see tremendous benefits for their teams and they will be supporting the most important organization in our state for an accessible and diverse trail system.”

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of Washington Trails Magazine. Support trails as a member of WTA to get your one-year subscription to the magazine.