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Timex survey: Return the Outdoors

Posted Jul 28 2009 11:47pm

I would have thought the economic downturn would be getting more people outside. Survey says … NOT.

Lauren Flemming from Catalyst │Thinkable Results sends us the results of an interesting survey of 1,122 Americans ages 18.

Americans’ attitudes towards spending time outdoors

The vast majority of Americans 18 and older (87%) feel that they need to take the time every week to get outdoors, and feel that doing so would make them feel less stressed (72%), but more than one-third of Americans expect to get outside even less because of the economic downturn (35%).

Americans of all ages, both male and female, strongly identify with the benefits of getting outdoors

93% feel refreshed when outdoors
93% agree being outdoors relieves stress
90% agree that getting outdoors makes them happier
88% agree that being outdoors makes them feel free
86% agree that spending time outdoors with family and friends brings them closer together

How Americans spend their time – outdoors and otherwise

In a typical weekday, Americans spend many more hours watching TV and on the computer, than they do outdoors.

Reasons for not getting outdoors in a typical week day vary, according to age and gender.

Millennials (18 – 24) don’t incorporate the outdoors into the social interactions that are dominating their time. They spend almost 5 hours per day on the computer and almost 3 hours per day socializing with friends, but less than 2 hours per day outdoors

Young parents aren’t incorporating the outdoors into time spent caring for their children. Women 25-34 spend 5 hours per day caring for children and more than 3 hours per day watching TV, but less than 2 hours per day outdoors

The weekend is an opportunity to do more of the same.

Millennials continue to spend an incredible about of time socializing with friends (4 hours) and on the computer (5 hours), but they spend no additional time outside (less than 2 hours)

Women 25-34 spend three times as many hours caring for children on weekends (9 hours) and find almost two hours daily to socialize with friends. Additionally, their TV usage increases to 4 hours per day, but the time spent outdoors remains flat at less than 2 hours.

Americans’ reasons for not spending leisure time outdoors range from being too tired (almost 40%) to being busy running errands (27%).

Millennials cited the widest variety of reasons to remain indoors, including:

44% are too tired
38% are too busy running errands
25% need to spend more time at work
19% are not sure where to go that is close by

Young parents are most commonly too tired (38%) or busy taking care of children (38%).

Playing outside starts at home. In the past year, Americans have been walking (83%), gardening (52%) and playing in their backyards.

18 to 24 year olds gravitate towards fitness and exploration activities:

Walking (90%)
Swimming (76%)
Running (66%)
Biking (51%)
Exploring (48%)
Hiking, Camping (37%)

Young parents stick to family and neighborhood-centric activities:
Picnicking (57%)
Playing in their backyards (66%)
Visiting and neighborhood parks (56%)

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Timex® Expedition® watches were derived from the virtually indestructible 1960s infantry watches and adapted to meet the explosive growth in popularity of outdoor activities. … The brand recently launched “Return the Outdoors,” a joint endeavour with the Conservation Alliance and American alpinist Conrad Anker to inspire Americans to get outdoors and reconnect with nature. The brand’s Web site,, hosts content, forums and tools designed to make the outdoors more accessible to our everyday lives.

Conrad is an American rock climber, mountaineer, author and environmental activist.

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