By Victoria McNally // SWNS
Nearly three in five Americans have transformed from “indoor people” to “outdoor people” during the pandemic, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 respondents over the age of 21 revealed that “indoor people” have added 22 minutes a week to their outdoor regimen since last year.
The top reason for venturing outside? For 67%, it’s to get away from the people they’ve been stuck indoors with.
The trend shows no sign of slowing with summer approaching, as people plan to increase their outdoor time by four more hours each week as the weather gets warmer.
The survey also looked at the personality differences between those who originally identified as “indoor” and “outdoor” types before the pandemic. Those who identified as “indoor” types were more likely to be morning people (61%), more likely to claim their lives are “mostly perfect” (71%) and were more hesitant to try new things out of fear of failure (68%).
Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by the health and fitness app Verv, the survey also found that men were more likely to embrace the outdoors (75%) than women (51%), and most newly minted “outdoor” types were between 25 and 40 years old (38%).
Overall, results suggest that the average respondent went outside for around five hours per week last year.
That translates to 260 hours, or 10 whole days, over the length of 2020.
“Recent scientific reports have found that spending just 120 minutes per week in nature can decrease inflammation, boost activity in infection-fighting white blood cells and lower blood pressure,” said Luba Pashkovskaya, CEO of Verv. “That kind of noticeable health benefit is especially important now, when so many people are struggling both mentally and physically from their recent pandemic experiences.”
Surprisingly, the past year has even turned “indoor people” into social butterflies, as they’re already planning to go outside for socially distanced hangouts with family (57%) and friends (56%).
And their newly-acquired thirst for fresh air is also reflected in respondents’ workout choices, as they now tend to prefer walking (51%), running (47%) and biking (42%) over activities that can be done indoors, like yoga (37%) and pilates (26%).
When it comes to walking, Americans are aiming to take 2,500 steps a day, nearly five times less than the 10,000 of myth.
“10,000 steps is a hard goal for many people, and not one that’s rooted in any kind of scientific origin,” admitted Pashkovskaya. “In fact, a recent Harvard study found that people who walk an average of 4,400 steps a day still have significantly reduced mortality rates compared to those who only walk 2,700 a day. So really, the best and most feasible way to improve your health is to aim for 2,000 more steps than you usually take.”
The study also reveals that last year, the typical respondent spent five hours per week doing physical activity, at an overall average of 240 hours for the entire year — close to the same amount of time they spent outdoors, and more than the four hours per week that they considered to be optimal for adult health.
Overall, the average respondent estimated that a daily workout should be 33 minutes long at above-average intensity.
When it comes to tracking activity, almost 40% of respondents rely on mobile apps and 46% rely on smart watches.
Out of those who monitor their health with these tools, 70% use them for outdoor activities — such as running, walking, or cycling — compared to only 55% who use meditation apps and 43% who use calorie-counting or diet trackers.
TOP FORMS OF EXERCISE FOR “INDOOR” PEOPLE
- Walking 51%
- Running 47%
- Biking 42%
- Hiking 39%
- Dancing 39%
- Yoga 37%
- Pilates 26%
- Swimming 26%
- Mixed Martial Arts 23%
TOP FORMS OF EXERCISE FOR “OUTDOOR” PEOPLE
- Walking 38%
- Hiking 36%
- Biking 33%
- Dancing 31%
- Running 28%
- Yoga 23%
- Swimming 22%
- Pilates 19%
- Mixed Martial Arts 17%