A new survey interviewing over 2,000 women who participate in adventure sports has revealed that 99% find the outdoors has a positive impact on their mental wellbeing.
However, in what may come as as a surprise to many, the results also show that the average mental wellbeing level out of all those surveyed was lower than the national average among women.
The survey, run by the independent research project Women in Adventure, asked women about how they spend their time outdoors and the effect this has on their happiness, worthwhileness, life satisfaction and anxiety.
Notable Findings From The Survey
- 95% of those surveyed strongly agree that the outdoors has a positive impact on their mental mental wellbeing
- 73.5% strongly agree that the outdoors has a positive impact on their self esteem
- 70% strongly agree that the outdoors has a positive impact on the way they look at life and future prospects
- 69% strongly agree that the outdoors has increased their resilience.
The survey also looked at the effect of specific outdoor activities.
Intriguingly, the results indicate that kayakers have, on average, the best mental wellbeing of the top ten sports in the survey, followed by those that ski. After this, those that canoe and swim are joint third, closely followed by cycling. Camping, mountaineering and surfing follow on with similar results for running and hiking.
“Kayakers topped the list with climbers sitting at the bottom…”
Those that climb were shown to have the lowest of the selected sports by a considerable margin.
Another notable finding from the 2,718 submissions is that the average mental wellbeing level was below the the UK female average registered by the Office of National Statistics.
“It should be acknowledged that a survey such as this is self-selecting,” the Women in Adventure report states in acknowledgement of this result. “It is likely those who have chosen to participate in this survey feel a greater affiliation with mental health and wellbeing issues.
“Further work will be carried out to identify this.”
Women in Adventure is an independent research-based project focused on empowering women through the sharing of information, inspiration and advice. Details of the survey process and the full results can be found here.