Eight in 10 Canadians say they are spending time in nature to deal with the stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new Ipsos Public Affairs poll conducted for Nature Conservatory of Canada (NCC).
The survey also found that 37 per cent of the surveyed said they have increased their time spent in nature than in March 2020.
The NCC said that connecting with nature is important more than ever.
“Nature is our ally. Spending time in nature can help reduce stress and make us feel better emotionally, while also contributing to physical wellbeing,” said Ginny Hudson, manager of conservation planning and stewardship with NCC in British Columbia.
Senior advisor for visitor-use planning with NCC, François Duclos said that the findings of an increase desire to connect with nature shows the importance of protecting nature.
“People want to safely connect with others or to get out for some sunlight and a walk, hike, run or bike ride. They are embracing opportunities to get fresh air, exercise, feel a sense of calm and take a break from increased telework and screen time.”
The study also found that 18 per cent of people responded they are spending less time in nature, either due to a lack of spaces near their them or not having the time.