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Getting Active Outdoors

A Study of Demography, Motivation, Participation and Provision in Outdoor Sport and Recreation in England.

The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA), together with Sport England, has shared the findings of what they believe to be the broadest research ever undertaken of the outdoor activity market.

With outdoor activities seeing a three per cent increase in the number of people taking part over the last year, Sport England are keen to develop their understanding of the outdoor market and its potential for getting people more active, more often.

Commissioned by Sport England and researched and delivered by the OIA, the report (available to download below), "Getting Active Outdoors: A study of demography, motivation, participation and provision in outdoor sport and recreation in England", examines the demand and supply of the outdoor activity market and takes an in-depth look at those who are active in the outdoors.

Sport England Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said: "Knowing what people want from their sporting experience is essential if we're going to make the opportunities absolutely right for them. That's why I'm really excited about this research and the potential it has to help get more people active in the outdoors more often.

This report will help us to understand further the outdoors and the opportunities it presents. It has great potential for the whole sector and I am keen to share it."

With nearly 9 million people currently active in the outdoors and 2.8 million of them wanting to do more, the report aims to build an understanding of the outdoor activities market: who does what, where, when and why, what encourages them to keep being active and what stops them from being more active.

It also looks where there is the potential to grow the market. There are currently 18.2 million people not active in the outdoors but who want to be. The report looks at where the latent demand from these people lies and what might motivate them to be active in the future.

Andrew Denton, OIA CEO, said: "This is a fundamental piece of research and will drive Sport England's insight into the outdoor sector, highlighting some of the opportunities for increasing outdoor recreation and understanding participants. I would urge any organisation that has an interest in the Outdoor sector to engage with its findings."

The outdoors means different things for different people and the report covers activity in all environments: sky, snow, water, mountain, parks and urban spaces, with the latter offering great potential given people like to be active in the outdoors close to home.

It also covers the motivations for getting out and being active outside, all of which vary across age and life stage. The report examines the eight participant segment groups - the Explorer, the Challenger, Fitness in Nature, the Tribe Member, the Adventurer, the Learner, the Freestyler and the Thrill Seeker - and what motivates current and potential members of these groups.

Other findings include:

  • 92 per cent of people take part in the outdoors to relax and de-stress
    • There are over 9,000 providers in the outdoors sector
    • 70 - 80 per cent of all outdoor users feeling being active outdoors strengthens family relationships
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