Older Canadians are outdoors twice as often as millennials, survey shows

TORONTO, March 30, 2017 /CNW/ - Older Canadians are almost twice as likely as younger Canadians to regularly go outside for recreation, a survey shows.

While most Canadians get outdoors at least once a week, 58 per cent of Canadians 55 and older get outside four or more times per week, compared to a third of Canadians aged 18-34.

Part of the reason millennials (18-34) don't enjoy the great outdoors as much as others may be related to their busy schedules. Forty-seven per cent of millennials say that they don't have the time. This is nearly twice the number of Canadians aged 55+.

To help address this, the Canadian Parks Council, a committee representing national, provincial and territorial parks, created The Nature Playbook to connect more Canadians with the natural environment. The Playbook suggests simple strategies and activities that make it easy for Canadians to incorporate nature into their everyday lives.

"The Nature Playbook is a collection of best practices. It's a guidebook that is meant to inspire action and eventually, widespread cultural change in Canada," said Chloe Dragon Smith, co-chair of The Nature Playbook working group. "If we truly want to make a change for the next generation, millennials are an important audience."

Another reason the Canadian Parks Council created The Nature Playbook is to encourage Canadians to reap the health benefits that nature provides. The survey showed that 86 per cent of Canadians purposefully go outside to reap nature's health benefits. The top reason Canadians go outside is to clear their heads.

"Connecting with nature is important for our health and happiness," said Dragon Smith. "The Nature Playbook can help us all discover the best, most practical ways to get outdoors – no matter who you are or where you are in Canada. It's about finding and embracing what works for you."

The Nature Playbook's strategies are:

1.    Bring children into nature at an early age.
2.    Find and share the fun in nature.
3.    See the urban gateway to nature.
4.    Embrace technology.
5.    Share cultural roots and ancestry in nature.
6.    Seek out diverse partnerships.
7.    Empower a new generation of leaders.

This survey was developed as part of a broader campaign to raise awareness about The Nature Playbook in Toronto. It was organized by Centennial College post-graduate public relations and corporate communications students as part of the Storyworks course at the School of Communications, Media, Arts and Design in partnership with the Canadian Parks Council.

Additional Findings

  • People from Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and B.C. are more than twice as likely to say that they do not have time to regularly go outside than people in Saskatchewan.
  • Only 8 per cent of British Columbians say that they have to travel outside the city to connect with nature.
  • Eighty per cent of Canadians say they are able to connect with nature within five minutes of their house.
  • Seventy-one per cent of Canadians like to go running or on a walk when they go outside.

About the survey
From March 8 to March 9, 2017, an online survey was conducted by Maru/Matchbox among 1,509 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) using Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About the Canadian Parks Council
The Canadian Parks Council (CPC) is the body of federal, provincial and territorial parks agencies working together since 1962 to promote excellence in park planning and management, advance park and protected areas values, and facilitate cooperation among and provide support to member agencies. A goal of the CPC is to get Canadians outside, enjoying the natural spaces that our country has to offer. They first published Connecting Canadians with Nature in 2014 - it explains the reasons for connecting with nature. They followed up with The Nature Playbook as a how-to guide for all Canadians.

About Centennial College and this campaign
Established in 1966, Centennial College is Ontario's first public college, primarily serving the eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area through four campuses. It has a record of exemplary teaching, innovative programming and extensive partnership building. With a full-time enrolment of 20,000 students, Centennial is recognized as one of the most culturally diverse post-secondary institutions in Canada. Visit www.centennialcollege.ca.

SOURCE Centennial College

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Rebecca Goss, Media Relations, rgoss@my.centennialcollege.ca, Tel: 1-647-654-2547; Alyssa Stewart, Media Relations, astewa51@my.centennialcollege.ca, Tel: 1-902-303-5247


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