LONDON — During the hustle and bustle of our lives it can be hard to remember to spend some extended time outside. Now, a new survey of 2,000 British women illustrates just how little fresh air some of us are getting: the average woman only spends 25 minutes outside per day.
If that doesn’t seem bad enough, one in 10 only manage five or fewer minutes outside daily, according to the survey, which was commissioned by skincare company Liz Earle.
Results also show that a third of respondents blame their jobs on their lack of time outside, while 35% say that even when they’re home they are just “too exhausted” to step out for a bit. More than half admit that by the time the weekend arrives, they mostly want to stay home and relax. A quarter lament they simply have too many errands and chores to complete most weekends to enjoy time outside.
In general, the survey indicated that heavy workloads and busy family lives make it very hard for the modern British woman to get outside for any extended amount of time. Nearly half of respondents say their lives move at a pace too fast for them to enjoy nature. For many of those that do, it’s more of a rare luxury than a daily routine: Only half of the women surveyed say they took a walk in the countryside, walked their dogs, or visited a park — over the last six months.
Perhaps most worryingly, about 75% in the survey say going too long without spending time in nature negatively affects their mood. One in four reports feeling anxious or lazy after too much time indoors.So, at least many women are aware they need to get outside more often. In fact, 86% agree that getting outside beside nature is a good way to relieve stress and relax.
“This research suggests women aren’t getting nearly enough time outdoors – which is concerning given the number of things modern women juggle at any one time,” says James Wong, an ethnobotanist for Liz Earle, in a statement. “Along with the physical benefits of taking a walk outdoors, there are important psychological benefits from being in nature such as relieving stress and anxiety as well as boosting mood, all whilst improving overall wellbeing.”
So, what do women like to do once they are able to make it outside? Half agree that a walk in the countryside is their ideal getaway, and just over one third say they would prefer to take a walk in the woods or visit a beach. Another quarter list gardening as their ideal outdoor activity.
When asked how they would spend an extra half hour in their day, 31% say they would use that “me time” to take a walk outside.
Half of the women polled say they like spending time outside with their partner, while 45% prefer having their entire family beside them. Another three in 10 respondents say they enjoy being alone among nature.
After finally getting outside for a bit, 58% say they feel “happier” and six in 10 said the fresh air helps them “unwind.” Another third also said they feel physically healthier after going outside and 44% reported feeling “energized” and “revitalized” after spending time outside.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.