Fishing for Peace of Mind? Americans Are Turning to the Great Outdoors

Thursday September 17, 2020

Fishing for Peace of Mind? Americans Are Turning to the Great Outdoors
  (Source:Getty Images)

Nearly six in 10 Americans have a new appreciation of nature during quarantine, according to new research.

The study asked 2,000 Americans about how they're keeping their moods up in light of social distancing measures.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents shared they didn't appreciate nature as much as they should have before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and their Get on Board campaign, the survey found that as their days indoors drag along, 57% said it's all taken a toll on their mental health and happiness.

Three-quarters of respondents are starting to feel a boost in their moods, however, thanks to spending more time outdoors — with 66% sharing they're doing more outdoor activities close to home.

Just over half of those surveyed have also gone fishing during their time in quarantine, and 27% have specifically done so to boost their mental health.

In fact, 63% of those surveyed overall said the mental health benefits are an appealing reason to try fishing.

Seventeen percent of those who fish also said one of the top reasons they do this activity is because they can adhere to social distancing measures.

With a plethora of options for outdoor activities, nearly four in 10 respondents have actually become more physically active during their time in quarantine.

In fact, 32% of respondents are participating in more outdoor activities than ever.

Six in 10 shared they've been able to finally take the time to explore their local communities, with local parks, trails and lakes topping the list of new-found areas.

"Getting outdoors, especially near water, has been shown in studies to reduce stress and anxiety," said Stephanie Vatalaro, RBFF's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "That's why we created our Get On Board initiative, to raise awareness about how outdoor activities like fishing and boating can help anyone prioritize their mental health while social distancing."

And as respondents explore their communities more, it's also a chance to bond with their families, as a quarter of those who fish also said a perk of the activity is the bond they can share with their loved ones.

In fact, 63% of respondents who've ever picked up a fishing rod can't wait to teach their kids how to fish.

This isn't surprising, as 37% of respondents said fishing brings them back to memories of their childhood.

Other nostalgic activities include camping (34%), going to a lake (31%) and boating (23%).

With all of these fond memories and newfound mental health benefits, 69% of respondents are planning to incorporate more outdoor activities into their lifestyle even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

"We can all use a little mood boost these days," said Vatalaro. "The outdoors has lots of activities to pick from, so there's something for everyone. If you're interested in getting started fishing, our website TakeMeFishing.org has beginner tips and an interactive map of places to fish and boat near you."

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