American Millennials' Outdoors and Nature Activities

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Millennial Americans - Spending Time Outdoors Insights

American millenials desire to spend more time outdoors and in nature. Insights prove their desire to do so by their need to share experiences on social media, heightened attention on mental and physical health, millenial parents encouraging outdoor activities for their kids, value they place on high value experiences, millenials desire to be together, and high spending on outdoors products. However, millenials also spend way too much time indoors. Insights that prove this include millenials' preference for fast casual dining, large amounts of time spent on social media and financial instability.

Need to Share Experiences on Social Media

  • Social media-minded millennials share moments for peer approval. They are no longer living for the experiences but simply collecting them as virtual possessions. For this reason, some outdoor activities like camping, hiking, skydiving among many others have become popular experiences and stories that millenials share on socials.
  • 90.4% of Millennials are social media users. Instagram and Snapchat are two of the three most popular social media platforms among millennials after Facebook. A third of 18-34 year olds have Snapchat on their smartphones, and almost half have Instagram. In a survey done by Harris, 60% of people who have shared, posted or tweeted about their events and experiences on social media were millenials.
  • According to a survey by Chase Card Services, “Three in four Millennial travelers post to social networks at least once a day while traveling.” HVS also added that, Millennials search for “something extra” as “they do not wish to Instagram a photo of a boring room to share that with their friends.”

Heightened Attention on Mental and Physical Health

  • Millenials are aware of the importance of maintaining good physical and mental well-being. In a survey of 900 millennials conducted by American University in 2015, about 75% of millennials say they are open to discussing mental health topics. Also, on average, over a third of millennials exercise two to three days per week for at least 30 minutes.
  • Millenials know the importance of the outdoors in combating mental disorders and keeping fit and healthy. They have come up with mindfulness training communities group wellness that often take the form of organized meditation groups. They recognize the need to hike, camp, run and basically become outdoorsy people.

Value Placed on High Value Experiences

  • Millennial spending is different from that of older generations at their age since it's emphasis is on collecting experiences rather than acquiring tangible goods. More than 78% millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or even overbuying something desirable and 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events than ever before,with no signs of slowing.
  • The fear of missing out propels millennials to show up, share and engage: a driving force behind the experience economy. In a survey conducted by Harris poll, nearly 69% millennials experience the fear of missing out.

Millenials Desire to Be Together

  • Outdoor recreation is a great way to connect with friends and enjoy the outdoors, leading to more socially aware and environmentally engaged people.
  • Millennials are highly social creatures who, according to research by HVS, a travel and hospitality consulting firm, “are more likely [than any other group] to travel socially with friends and family.” HVS also notes that more than any other generation, Millennials will travel to pursue their personal and shared group interests, such as food, entertainment, shopping and outdoor activities.

Millennial Parents Encouraging Outdoor Activities for their Kids

  • As millennials start to have children, they’re more reflective of camping habits and seeing the value of getting their children outside.
  • Some are looking to send their preschoolers to forest schools. The need now is not to replicate the outdoors indoors, but to get outside and be in nature.
  • Millennials parents therefore show desire to spend more time outdoors with their kids since things like playtime and camping is usually done with the parent too.

High Spending on Outdoors Products

  • Representing 38% of the U.S. outdoor consumer population, Millennials spend more time outside and more money on outdoor products than the average outdoor consumer, making them a valuable long-term target market for the industry.
  • According to the study by Outdoor Industry Association, millenials spend $594 annually on outdoor apparel, and footwear.
  • By purchasing this, they show desire to spend more time in the outdoors and nature.

Preference for Fast Casual Dining

  • In 2017, popular chains like TGI Fridays and Applebee’s were forced to shutter dozens of locations amid slumping sales and lower traffic. Millenials were to blame, being a generation that allegedly no longer goes out to eat, preferring to cook or order take-out.
  • Almost 40% of millennials eat meals on the go, and more than 50% want a good deal for their money. Fast casual restaurants from Chipotle and Subway to Shake Shack and Five Guys are largely designed with these preferences in mind, with fast ordering and app-powered pickup and delivery as basic pillars of their model.
  • Fast casual dining has encouraged millennials to eat and order from home at their convenience.

Large Amounts of Time Spent on Social Media

  • According to a study by GlobalWeblndex, Millennials are spending about 2 hours and 38 minutes on social media each day.
  • Facebook is ranked as the most used social network by millennial with a rate of 88% memberships. YouTube is ranked as the second most used social network with a rate of 83% millennial membership. The Facebook messenger comes next with a rate of 77%.
  • This time spent could have been the time spent outdoors. This has really affected millennials and is a reason why they feel they spend much less time outdoors.

Financial Instability

  • Almost two-thirds of millennial say they’re living paycheck to paycheck and only 38% feel financially stable, according to a new survey from Charles Schwab.
  • Most outdoor activities like camping, hiking and more so live events need a certain amount of money. Generally, it becomes difficult for millennial to spend money on outdoor activities since they do no have any to spare.

Research Strategy

To identify insights that prove that both active and non-active Millennial Americans desire to spend more time in the outdoors and, insights that show they may feel that they do not currently spend as much time outside as they should, we searched through articles and publications. We focused and narrowed down to six qualitative and quantitative insights that prove that active and non-active Millennial Americans desire to spend more time in the outdoors and nature. We also focused on three qualitative and quantitative insights that show Millennial Americans feel that they do not currently spend as much time outside as they should.



Part
02
of two
Part
02

American Millennials - Modern Life and Outdoor Time

A study conducted among 5,000 millennial respondents reveals that millennials are spending more time on online activities than on outdoor activities. Millennials and other generations are getting addicted to the use of smartphones, which tend to limit their participation in outdoor activities. Addiction to smartphones constitutes constraints to outdoor as well as "physical activities."

Reading

  • Reading is the most popular leisure activity among millennials. About 58% of millennials, as well as generation Zers, indulge in reading activities regularly. According to Daily Shooting web resource, reading is not an outdoor activity, and most people reading its list of most popular outdoor activities in the USA "don't know the potential" of various things they can do outside.
  • Several online resources, including Pan Macmillan, disclose that reading is an indoor activity. People often engage in reading to avoid outdoor activities on rainy and other days.
  • Americans believe that reading is a habit associated with the most successful leaders, and reading can change someone's life too. Some of the most successful people read several books. Statistics reveal that Warren Buffet reads about 500 pages a day, Mark Cuban reads for three hours a day, while Bill Gates reads about 50 books every year.
  • Understanding millennials and generation Zers involves finding out who they admire several millennials admire Bill Gates. The study assumes that millennials inspire to be live Bill Gates and think they can achieve this feat through reading.
  • Millennials have developed a habit of reading more than their parents. About 94% of young adults possess a smartphone and utilize it to read daily. Millennials are using public libraries more than other generations, and more millennials (53% of them) use a library or "bookmobile to find and read books" when compared to baby boomers (43%).
  • Millennials think reading is the new way to socialize. They are more likely than other generations to consult social media for reviews before purchasing a book. They feel the price, online comments, user reviews, pictures, and videos about a book are more important than the author.

Online Activities

  • A recent survey among 5,000 respondents spread across 180 cities reveals that millennials are spending more time on online activities than on outdoor activities.
  • Millennials are more prone to engage in online activities, including shopping than step outside to visit a brick and mortar store. As of 2019, United States millennials conducted 60% of their shopping online, a significant increase from the 47% recorded in 2017.
  • Experts believe there is a shift to total "digital thinking among millennials" (digital perception). This insight is credited to Marc Mezzacca, the founder of CouponFollow. About two-thirds (64%) of millennial online shoppers recently surveyed by CouponFollow make about half or more or their internet purchases from Amazon.com Inc.
  • Several resources disclose that millennials have a strong perception of online reviews and ratings, which is "the top factor influencing their buying decisions." About 43% of millennials buy from Amazon due to favorable online reviews, while 41% buy based on their perception of best price/price comparisons.

Cable TV

  • Over 80% of older and younger millennials prefer watching cable TV to spend their leisure/free time than generation Z.
  • A recent report from the Video Advertising Bureau reveals that broadcast and cable TV is the best way (is better than YouTube, Facebook, or streaming services such as Netflix) for brands to advertise audiences, particularly millennials.
  • Although millennials watch TV for only "three hours per day," TV time accounts for more than all other leisure activities combined.
  • Millennials aged 18 to 24 years spend about twice as much time every month watching videos via television (72 hours) than they do on a computer or via smartphones. For 25 to 34-year-old millennials, they spend about three times as much of their leisure time watching videos via television (102 hours) than they do through other devices.
  • According to Adweek, millennials care more (have a stronger perception) about cable TV and its ads than they care about YouTube.

Entertainment Videos

  • At over 80%, millennials watch TV content and online entertainment videos more than generation X (at about 40%).
  • Millennials are attracted to video marketing because they believe it is entertaining (they see video as a source of "entertainment"). They also use videos to learn about companies to make purchasing decisions. About 85% of millennials are more prone than baby boomers to consult/view a video before buying a product or service.

Smart Phones

Less Interest in Outdoor Activities

  • Millennials exhibit less interest in outdoor activities when compared to other generations.
  • Several outdoor activities such as visiting a zoo, watching dolphin shows are less attractive to millennials than other generations.
  • About 62% of older adults believe zoo locations that offer dolphin shows are among the ideal places to visit with the family. However, fewer millennials (35.5%) believe that outdoor activities such as dolphin shows are among the perfect activities to watch with their families.
  • Fewer millennials (28.9%) feel visiting a water zoo to watch a dolphin show is educative when compared to older adults (50.4%). A higher percentage of millennials (44.6%) feel the way zoos handle animals such as dolphins is cruel when compared to older adults (25.4%). The study assumes that the perception of millennials regarding outdoor/zoo activities such as the cruelty meted to captivated animals makes them less likely to partake in such activities.

Video Games

  • Whenever millennials are not gaming, they are likely watching gaming content. About two-thirds of the United States "millennials play video games every month."
  • About 84% of generation Z and Millennial males think "it is cool to play video games," and 71% consider themselves as gamers. They have the perception that gaming is associated with the words "fun," "social," and "friendly" than "nerdy."

Research Strategy

The study investigated insights related to the perception of the lack of spending time outdoors due to modern life for Millennials. The study reviewed academic and scholarly resources such as articles of the Faculty of Sport Sciences, Suleyman Demirel University. An investigation was conducted to uncover the reasons millennials are spending less/insufficient time on outdoor activities. Their perception of time spent on outdoor and preferred indoor activities were also investigated. Insights revealed that the increasing use of smartphones and addiction to smartphones constitutes "constraints for physical activities." The study assumed physical activities include outdoor activities. Additional studies for the perception of millennials revealed that they feel the use of smartphones is compulsive. This perception is specific to millennials and other generations of Americans. The study investigated if millennials are aware that they are spending less/insufficient time outdoors due to their modern ways of life. The study did not reveal such details.

Additional studies were conducted to uncover more insights related to the perception of lack of spending time outdoors due to modern life for Millennials. This strategy reviewed news publications such as Live Mint and other resources. An examination was conducted to uncover if millennials are spending less time on outdoor activities and more time on indoor activities. An investigation of their perception related to the reasons they are spending less time outdoor was also conducted. Insights revealed that millennials revealed that they spend more time on indoor activities such as reading, cable TV, surfing social media, and other online activities. Additional research was conducted to uncover the perception of millennials regarding their concentration on online activities when compared to outdoor events. This strategy failed to reveal the needed insights. The study reviewed the perception millennials have regarding each of the uncovered items for which they spend a significant part of their time every day, such as cable TV. Insights revealed that millennials care more (have a stronger perception) about cable TV and its ads than they care about YouTube.

The study also reviewed behavioral economics resources such as the Colleendilen web resource. An investigation was conducted to uncover the feelings millennials have about outdoor activities such as visiting a zoo and their participation in such activities. Their willingness to spend more or less time in zoos and their perceived lack of spending time on such outdoor activities were also examined. Insights revealed that millennials exhibit less interest in outdoor activities when compared to other generations. The strategy also revealed the perception of millennials regarding animals living in Zoos. The study assumes that the perception millennials have regarding outdoor/zoo activities such as the cruelty meted to animals residing in captive makes them less likely to partake in such outdoor activities. This strategy also investigated if millennials are aware that they are spending less/insufficient time outdoors due to their modern ways of life. The study did not reveal such details. Based on the disapproval of millennials for outdoor activities such as watching animals in captive (they feel some zoo activities are cruel), the study assumes millennials are spending less time visiting zoos with their families, and this is deliberate.

This study assumes millennials are aware of the time they spend on various activities due to their response to included surveys. Their concentration on indoor activities is deliberate and reflects their belief system.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02