A surprising number of British adults are shunning cinema trips and going for drinks, and instead turning to the natural world to sweep their dates off their feet.
A survey of more than 7,600 UK adults published by Decathlon in the Decathlon Activity Index 2019 shows that dates which involve exploring nature – such as going on a hike or a walk – are now more popular than even going for drinks or to the cinema.
When describing their ideal date, more than 1 in 3 (35%) cited this kind of outdoors activity – with both sexes being in agreement on this.
This makes nature-based dates more popular than activities which are usually more commonly associated with going on a date – such as cinema trips and going for drinks, which just 25% and 28% prefer, respectively.
Brits turning away from drinking on dates complements recent research published by University College London which showed the number of young adults who don’t drink alcohol has increased from 18% to 29% in a decade.
However many are also recognising the benefits of going on this kind of date – respondents said that they preferred more active dates like these because they felt this type of activity would help them relax (20%) and to break the ice with their date (also 20%).
Hiking and trekking (24%), cycling (16%) and running were all popular activities that Brits say they would enjoy on a date.
65% of respondents would be open to participating in a date that involved sports or exercise.
Joshua Gutteridge, team sports manager at Decathlon commented: “Dating should be fun, and it doesn’t have to involve unhealthy activities like drinking alcohol if that’s not your thing. Exercise is a great alternative to going for food or having drinks and its benefits are actually great for a date. Exercise is proven to release endorphins, which can help to make us feel relaxed and increase self-esteem – which can only be a good thing on a date. Better yet, taking part in an activity outdoors can help to remove any awkward silences and is a fun way of getting to know someone.”
The Decathlon Activity Index tracks rates of participation in sport and other physical activities across the year through a national survey repeated every month throughout the year.