Americans Look To Spend More Time Outdoors


According to a recent survey conducted for Mental Health Awareness Month in May, it is essential for people to spend an average of 67 minutes outside daily to feel rejuvenated. This study, which polled 2,000 adults in the United States, found that a significant 57% of Americans are yearning for outdoor experiences more than ever before.

The survey highlighted that 68% of participants who engaged in outdoor activities reported feeling more relaxed, uplifted, and mentally clear. Conversely, excessive time spent indoors has been linked to increased negative emotions: 38% of respondents reported experiencing depression, 33% felt anxious, and 32% suffered from loneliness.

Furthermore, 60% of those surveyed expressed feelings of restlessness or “stir-craziness” after spending prolonged periods indoors. These negative emotions are often exacerbated when outdoor plans are thwarted by cancellations or inclement weather.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey, conducted by Talker Research on behalf of RVshare, also revealed a notable shift in travel preferences. About 16% of respondents indicated a newfound preference for destinations that offer natural environments, underscoring the growing importance of outdoor experiences for mental well-being.

“From enhanced mood to feelings of relaxation and wellbeing, there are so many physical and mental benefits that come from breaking through the four walls and exploring open-air adventures and activities,” RVshare’s CEO Jon Gray said.

“During Mental Health Awareness Month, we are encouraged to be mindful of how we’re spending our time and factor outdoor experiences into our everyday lives, including our travel plans.”

The survey further revealed respondents’ favorite outdoor activities, with many highlighting the dual benefits for both mental and physical health. Popular activities included walking, grilling, hiking, bicycling, and playing sports.

A significant portion of the respondents (67%) view travel as an essential form of self-care. Nearly half (42%) mentioned the necessity of booking a trip to “escape” their daily routines at least once every six months.

Vacationing in nature appears to offer substantial mental health benefits. According to the survey, outdoor vacations contribute to reduced stress for 36% of participants, help 33% of individuals mentally recharge, and foster a sense of gratitude in 23% of respondents.

The survey also indicated that one-third of participants frequently select vacations centered around outdoor activities. Among these, 44% were most excited about trips to the beach, 29% preferred national parks, and 12% opted for cross-country road trips.

When it comes to travel preferences, over half (57%) of respondents preferred driving to their destination rather than flying (25%). This preference might be attributed to the belief held by 83% of participants that the journey itself is an integral part of the vacation experience.

Overall, the survey made underscores the positive impact of outdoor trips on American lives, with 83% of respondents affirming the benefits of spending time in nature.

“A key takeaway here is that spending time in nature and on the open road while traveling has both physical and mental benefits,” Gray also added. “Whether soaking up the sun, hiking a new trail or gazing up at the starry sky, we’ve all experienced the invaluable renewal, mental clarity and freeness that comes from being outdoors.”