Green-fingered Britain puts more energy into gardening than playing sports

WateringBrits dig deep when it comes to devoting their energy to outdoor pursuits, with gardening ranked the top choice for keeping active – way more popular than any sports.

New research shows almost two-fifths (37.5%) of people have a passion for pottering, preening and pruning in the garden, while other popular ways of enjoying the outdoors include shopping and dog walking.

First Utility, the largest independent gas and electricity supplier, conducted the research as part of its new campaign celebrating the things people put their energy into .

Popular TV shows have shown their influence on shaping people?s pastimes with Strictly Come Dancing and the Great British Bake Off among the programmes which make people want to emulate the contestants. The research shows a third want to develop their culinary expertise after watching TV (14.9% want to do more cooking; 14.1% more baking) and 10.8% would like to try ballroom dancing.

When it comes to indoor pursuits, the study shows the most popular choices are ones which appear to use little energy. But there are still a sizeable number who like life in the outdoors – a little more active and adrenalin-fuelled. Although a quarter admit they don?t engage in any outdoor activity.

Leaderboard of indoor vs outdoor activities that Brits choose to put their energy into

PositionIndoor activitiesOutdoor activities
1Watching TV shows or films (55%)Gardening and pruning (37.5%)
2Reading books (53.3%)Shopping (28.4%)
3Experimenting with baking or cooking (33.6%)Dog walking ? own dogs or others? (17.1%)
4Cleaning and arranging the home (32.4%)Observing animals, such as bird or whale watching (16.3%)
5DIY home improvement projects (22.6%)Cycling (12.1%)

Just 4% said they took part in competitive sports. The most popular sporting activity was cycling ? mirroring the rise in the love for pedalling after a period of a prowess for British stars. Running was an activity shared by 7.5%, gym-going drew 7.4% and battle re-enacting was a hit with 1.7%.

Almost a third (31.9%) want to be more physically active as well as eat more healthily, with more women than men hoping to boost their exercise levels and dietary habits. The study shows our pastimes are not always self-serving ? 8.6% would like to put more of their energy into charitable causes.

Of the 12% who said they took part in action sports, the most popular was mountain biking, followed by rock climbing and skydiving.

Ed Kamm, Chief Customer Officer at First Utility, said:?We put our energy into lowering prices so that the UK can spend more on enjoying the things they put theirs into.? Whether running the London marathon, or enjoying a box set marathon, we make sure energy prices are one less thing to worry about.?


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