Half of Brits use relaxing pastimes to boost mental health

It seems we're a nation obsessed with hobbies, as 59 per cent of Brits found a new passion during lockdown - and two-thirds say it helps them destress.

Of the 2,000 people recently surveyed by Samsung, 20 per cent indicated they initially started their hobby to fill in time during weeks spent at home but 91 per cent have continued practising it regularly.

The top reasons for keeping up their passion were to battle stress, with 65 per cent saying their hobby helped. Painting and drawing were among the top pursuits around this, with 29 per cent reporting that they were great stress-busters.

In fact, 10 per cent of participants specifically looked for a creative hobby like art to help bring something new to their lives.

Well over a third of those surveyed would even like to make their hobby their full-time job, with 58 per cent keen to turn their lockdown hobby into a fully-fledged side hustle to make some extra cash.

The top hobbies were gardening, reading, and walking, with baking, cooking, and running featuring highly too.

Nearly half the Brits surveyed have also taken up outdoor pursuits like swimming, hiking, and running over the past two years.

Baking, gardening, jewellery-making, and photography were the most popular start-up ideas.

Even those with no plans to take their hobby to the next level would secretly like to do so - as 41 per cent conceded the only thing stopping them was time. A further 47 per cent worried they don't have the right business know-how to make a go of a new venture.

Additionally, a newfound love of gardening, video games, and reading has helped improve the mood and mental health of 57 per cent of those surveyed.

Most were complete novices around their chosen hobby when Covid-19 hit in 2020, with 80 per cent now saying they could never imagine giving it up.

Almost two-thirds use devices to research their pastime, with 37 per cent indicating they use their phone to take photos or capture other inspiration.

And 71 per cent stated their phone was an essential tool for their hobby, whether that's for taking pictures or capturing inspiration.

Samsung ambassador Fearne Cotton backs this, after finding the brand's new Galaxy Z Flip4 has made her painting and drawing hobby so much easier - something which will be music to the ears of 10 per cent of respondents, who have recently taken up the pastimes.

"It's great to see that so many people are using hobbies as a way to improve their overall wellbeing, just like I do with my sketching," she said. "Being joyful pioneers of the tech world, Samsung is the perfect partner for me, as the brand shares my passion for showing how we can harness the positives of technology to help support us and make the world a better, happier place."

Like Fearne, many of those polled revealed their lockdown hobby had given them a new lease of life - with 86 per cent admitting their chosen pastime is the highlight of their week.

In fact, 28 per cent revealed they'd put time spent on their hobby above time with loved ones or work, and 37 per cent indicated they preferred it to watching TV.

The top 10 hobbies, according to Brits:

1. Gardening

2. Reading

3. Walking

4. Baking

5. Video Gaming

6. Cooking

7. Running

8. Puzzles

9. Painting

10. Drawing