Survey highlights a life sitting on the sofa

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The Independent Online

More than four out of ten people in the UK have never ridden a horse or swum in natural water, according to a new survey about Britain's outdoor activities.

The research showed 59% of those questioned had never tried even the most basic activities due to "never having been given the chance" and 33% "have been too scared to try".

It said 50% have never sat on a horse and 41% have never swum in open water.

The research, commissioned by outdoor equipment firm GO Outdoors, found 10% of people said they spent most of their time sitting on the sofa.

Sports psychologist Dr Victor Thompson said: "Getting outdoors is vital for maximising our quality of life and as an antidote to our urban, stressful environments.

"A life on the sofa is incomprehensible to adrenaline junkies who go out of their way to get that physical and psychological stimulation that comes with the high of extreme sports.

"For these active people, life is experienced in high-definition colour and sharp focus when rock climbing, parachuting, white-water rafting or a range of other challenging pursuits."

The survey showed it was Londoners who were the most scared about venturing into the outdoors.

But the research also showed large numbers of people lied about their outdoor activity prowess, with 27% admitting to lying about it on CVs and in interviews and 32% lying to show off on a date.

GO Outdoors managing director John Graham said: ""We wanted to understand what was preventing Brits from getting outdoors and having fun."

Top ten most common activities Brits have taken part in:

1. Spending a night outdoors (70%)

2. Flown in an aeroplane (67%)

3. Stood on a mountain (61%)

4. Swum in natural water (59%)

5. Hill walked (54%)

6. Used a compass (53%)

7. Ridden a horse (50%)

8. Started a campfire (41%)

9. Fished (38%)

10. Abseiled (34%)

Top ten most common outdoor activities:

1. Walking (63%)

2. Camping (46%)

3. Climbing (36%)

4. Cycling (33%)

5. Swimming (29%)

6. Riding (20%)

7. Running (20%)

8. Fishing (19%)

9. Rafting (17%)

10. White water rafting (12%)

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