New hobbies taken up in the UK during lockdown

Many people said they chose to take up a hobby because it is good for their wellbeing

Alice Hughes
Monday 22 March 2021 11:55 GMT
<p>Gardening has become a very popular lockdown hobby</p>

Gardening has become a very popular lockdown hobby

It seems that many adults in the UK have taken up a new hobby during lockdown to boost their mental or physical health, with walking, reading and exercising the most popular pastimes.

A poll of 2,000 adults found more than one third have taken up a new activity since the start of the pandemic. The majority have chosen one with some form of mindfulness to help keep them calm while most any hobby to involve some exercise.

It also emerged that many chose a hobby because it was good for their wellbeing, with gardening, cooking and baking also popular.

Growing fruit and vegetables were also among the top 40 hobbies people have chosen because they have a positive impact on their health.

Other factors which impact the choice of activity include the cost, how easy it is to get started and skills which can be learnt as a result.

Sarah Dixon, from hoze company Hozelock, which commissioned the study, said: “Many of us have had more time on our hands during the past 12 months, so it is only normal that we are filling this time trying out new hobbies and interests.

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“With so much uncertainty in the year, it is great to see that people are choosing activities which will improve their mental health and provide some structure to their day and weekends.

“Gardening is one such hobby, not only is it accessible for everyone but it is always incredibly rewarding to watch plants grow.”

The poll also found 77 per cent agreed it’s been important to keep their mind busy since spending more time at home in the past year.

Other felt hobbies have given them something to concentrate on, while many credited the activities with helping them to stick to a routine while at home. 

People’s reasons behind taking up a new hobby during lockdown included to improve their home or garden, to fill spare time and to avoid thinking about the pandemic.

The weather, friends and TV shows have also inspired people to take up new past times.More than half of adults count gardening as a hobby, with many spending more time sprucing up their outdoor space during the lockdown than ever before.

Green-fingered adults enjoy the physical benefit without feeling like they’re exercising, seeing their achievements such as plants growing and creating a calming, inviting space.

And while a few of those polled via OnePoll opt to garden on their own, others do so with their partner and some with their child.

It also emerged that during the average week, people typically spend two hours and 14 minutes on exercise-based activities, an hour and 13 minutes baking and 1 hour and 28 minutes gardening.

Emily Butt, Founder of the not-for-profit organisation Garden to Wellbeing said: “Having experienced first-hand the range of benefits that nature has on both our physical and mental wellbeing, I’m delighted that more people are enjoying gardening as a fun and therapeutic hobby.

“Gardening not only improves physical health, it can also reduce levels of stress and anxiety and increase confidence.” 

Top hobbies people living in the UK have started because they’re good for their health:

1. Walking

2. Reading

3. Exercise

4. Gardening

5. Cooking

6. Baking

7. Swimming

8. Crosswords

9. Jigsaw puzzles

10. Growing fruit and veg

11. Dog walking

12. DIY

13. Board games

14. Video gaming

15. Crafts

16. Photography

17. Sudoku

18. Colouring in

19. Football

20. Birdwatching

21. Drawing/sketching

22. Knitting

23. Meditating

24. Painting

25. Writing/journaling

26. Cross stitching

27. Learning a musical instrument

28. Tennis

29. Fishing

30. Zumba

31. Horse riding

32. Woodwork

33. Martial arts

34. Writing music

35. Graphic design

36. Home brewing drinks

37. Astronomy e.g. using a telescope

38. Netball

39. Calligraphy

40. Pottery


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