A recent Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of the Nature Conservancy Canada, almost nine in ten (87 per cent) Canadians agree they are happier when they spend time in nature.

Women (89 per cent) and boomers, aged 55 plus (90 per cent), are particularly likely to agree they’re happier when they’ve been outdoors.

It’s not just happiness that is positively impacted, but other areas of life as well. A majority (73 per cent) agrees spending time in nature sparks their creativity, alleviates stress and helps them focus on work/productivity (88 per cent), and that they sleep better after spending time in nature (87 per cent). Almost all (94 per cent) agree they are aware of the benefits that spending time in nature can bring to their physical and mental health.

And yet, three quarters (74 per cent) of Canadians agree that it is easier to stay indoors than spend time in nature. Millennials, aged 18-34 (80 per cent) and gen-Xers, aged 35-54 (76 per cent), are more likely than boomers (68 per cent) to say so.

Notably, two in three (66 per cent) Canadians spend less time in nature now compared to when they were a kid. Just 15 per cent spend more time in nature now, while two in ten (19 per cent) spend about the same amount of time in nature as they did when they were young.

While acknowledging the perceived benefits of nature, eight in ten (82 per cent) Canadians agree they’re concerned that future generations won’t have close or easy access to nature.

Joel Staveley photo