More than half of working adults spend less than 30 minutes outside in the fresh air (53%) – although almost two thirds (61%) worry that they don’t get outside enough. The main excuses for not going outside include the weather (62%), illness (23%) and being tired (16%), according to the independent poll commissioned by GO Outdoors.
More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they hardly venture out at all in the daylight during winter and more than eight in ten (83%) respondents in full-time employment see no daylight at all, as they leave for work and return home in darkness during the winter months.
Which is likely why four in ten said (41%) they worry about Vitamin D deficiency and just under half (49%) reported suffering from Vitamin D deficiency symptoms. Including fatigue (25%), depression (17%), chronic pain (13%), and overall weakness (13%).
Despite over half (54%) of respondents feeling guilty about not spending enough time outdoors, four in ten (40%) considered walking up to 30 minutes as too long. Almost half do not exercise (46%), when the NHS recommended amount is two types of physical activity each week.*
Those in the East Midlands and Yorkshire though are more mindful and (both 45%) most likely to feel motivated to go outside to boost their mental health, compared to (34%) in the North West where they were least likely. The South West were the region most motivated to go outside to boost their vitamin D levels with (42%) of residents saying they would venture out for this reason.
Conversely, Londoners are most likely to hibernate and be put off going outside by cold winter weather, more than one in ten (11%) in the Capital admitted avoidance compared to a national average of just (7%). As a result, London had the highest regional report for vitamin D-related ailments. More than a quarter of Londoners (27%) said they suffer symptoms including, feeling fatigued, (22%) weak and (21%) depressed.
A new report out today shows that almost 50% of Brits suffer from vitamin D-related ailments, including fatigue, depression, chronic pain and weakness. With average daylight hours in the UK hitting an average of just eight hours a day during the winter months, millions of Brits will be suffering unbeknown from vitamin D deficiency. According to the NHS, Vitamin D is found naturally in a small number of foods, however, it’s difficult to get the recommended amount from food alone. The main source of vitamin D is from the action of sunlight on our skin and during the winter months this can become a difficult task.
The research, conducted by GO Outdoors reveals that 71% of all people average less than an hour a day outside during winter. It further reveals that over half (53%) of employed respondents spend 30 minutes or less outside during a working day, with one in 10 spending less than 10 minutes outside.
Over a third (35%) of Brits spend upwards of £51 a month on gym memberships, which equates to over £600 annually. Many of those who sign up for gym memberships do so to keep fit, without casting a thought for the plethora of outdoor activities that are freely available.
View the full case study here to find out how we carried out this research and the coverage it generated.