A study has found one in two Brits consider their favourite things about festive winter walks to be enjoying crisp fresh air, as well as having the chance to make frosty footprints

The positive mental and physical effects to be had from a festive walk also factor in highly, with 50% of adults pinpointing this too.

A survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by Ordnance Survey, revealed six out of 10 adults are planning a special walk either during Christmas or New Year this year.

So, what makes the perfect festive walk? The survey found that 50% of women felt the most crucial factor was being dressed appropriately and warmly, while with men, it was being with family (39%).

34% also considered the chance to take in the Christmas lights in the area to be an important element of the walk, while 33% said it gave them a valuable chance to reconnect with nature and to burn off the Christmas calories (32%).

It was also found that Christmas Day and Boxing Day were the two most popular days for going for walks, with the OnePoll study finding just under four in 10 people will be going for a leg stretch on one of those days.

In comparison, one in five are planning a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day amble.

The survey also looked into what the ideal length of time for a walk would be. The most popular proved to be 30 minutes to an hour, with nearly four in 10 opting for this.

The cold is the main factor that puts people off going for a walk, with nearly one in two saying it deters them from going out, while more than a third responded saying it’s the fact it gets dark so early.

Just over one in four adults said the dark can leave them feeling unmotivated to get out too, as the winter months make them feel gloomy.

OS Managing Director for Leisure, Nick Giles, said: “There’s nothing quite like the magic of a Christmas walk, digging out the hats and gloves alongside family and friends before exploring the wintery scenery and all the lights, and then coming home to a hot warming drink and a bit of cake afterwards.”

“It’s great to hear that in 2021 so many of us are planning on enjoying the simple pleasure of walking outside in the fresh air at a time when there are so many other festive distractions going on.”

“The added benefit a festive walk brings is the physical and mental boost time outside away from the Christmas chaos, whether that’s from meeting and socialising when going on a stroll, making sure the dog gets regular exercise, or by just keeping active.”

He added: “We know there are many barriers that stop people going outside in winter, particularly when the weather is bad or if there is worry about icy conditions.”

“But we know spending time outdoors has a huge positive impact on people’s mental health.”

“People who are more physically active have lower rates of depression, they have improved mood and a single bout of exercise can dramatically impact on mood for the better.”

“So if it is a mild day that is safe to go out in this winter, we urge people to get their winter coats on and get outside, no matter even if it is for a short time.”

Image courtesy of Getty Images / ©larigan2014

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