CSO survey reveals nation's new favourite outdoor hobbies since the pandemic

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Cso Survey Reveals Nation's New Favourite Outdoor Hobbies Since The Pandemic Cso Survey Reveals Nation's New Favourite Outdoor Hobbies Since The Pandemic
The 'Our Lives Outdoors: Spending Time Outdoors' survey found that 40 per cent of respondents aged between 18 and 34 took up a new outdoor activity since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: PA Archive/PA Images
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It's official: sea swimming was one of the nation's favourite past times during the pandemic, and its appeal has continued to endure.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office found that 40 per cent of respondents aged between 18 and 34 took up a new outdoor activity since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, compared to 13 per cent people aged over 70.

Asked what their most popular outdoor activity taken up since the Covid-19 pandemic was, some 34 per cent of respondents in the border counties chose sea-swimming, with 27 per cent in the West picking the same.

According to the 'Our Lives Outdoors: Spending Time Outdoors' survey, 66 per cent of people living in urban areas most frequently visit beaches, coastlines or the sea when spending time outdoors.

Other popular activities around the country include hill walking – most popular in the Mid-West region, where 33 per cent of respondents picked it as their favourite new outdoor activity, and in the Midlands, with 44 per cent share picking it as first preference.

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Running, hiking and cycling were also popular choices around the country.

Respondents were asked about their habits during the month of April through to May of this year. Of 18- to 34-year-olds who said they liked to spend time outside, 94 per cent said they did so to get fresh air.

Further to that, 88 per cent said they enjoyed nature, while 83 per cent said they just got out to get a break.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Sylvie Clappe, statistician, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting restrictions encouraged 41 per cent of young respondents aged 18 to 34 to take up new outdoor activities, compared with 13 per cent of those aged 70 and above. Of the activities proposed in the survey, participants aged 18 to 34 (36 per cent) and 35 to 44 (26 per cent) mostly took up running, while almost 30 per cent of respondents in the age groups above 45 mainly started hill walking."

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