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New research for National Lottery Open Week reveals how many of us want to stop scrolling and open up to new experiences

28th Chwefror 2024

New research from The National Lottery reveals that one out of four (24%) – 12.8 million people* – consider scrolling through social media a genuine hobby. A third (34%) recognise the amount of time spent on social media is stopping them pursuing other interests. But, the nation is yearning for more. A quarter (23%) are consider nixing their social media accounts to in a bid to ditch the digital.

For those wanting to reduce screen time, The National Lottery, in its 30th year, is offering a host of special offers including free entry to a range of National Lottery funded venues across the UK as part of National Lottery Open Week (9th – 17th March). Open Week ambassadors, Bill Bailey and Scarlett Moffatt encourage the nation to get out there and experience something new!

The UK is home to myriad cultural gems, from countless castles to world-renowned museums and idyllic natural landmarks. Yet one out of four (24%) UK adults – 12.8 million people – consider staying indoors scrolling through social media to be a genuine hobby**. Four out of ten (41%) people admit to spending most of their free time screen scrolling and watching TV over getting out and enjoying cultural past times, while nearly one out of ten (8%) people admit they don’t have any other hobbies.

Yet the nation is yearning for more as many wish to break free from their digital habit, with three out of five adults (59%) harbouring hidden desires to try something new.

The research***, which surveyed 4,000 adults across the UK, was commissioned to celebrate National Lottery Open Week (9th – 17th March) which sees hundreds of National Lottery-funded venues offer free entry and discounts as a thank you to National Lottery players for helping to raise over £30 million a week for good causes.

Bill Bailey outside of The Royal Shakespeare Company.

Bill Bailey, comedian, musician and National Lottery Open Week ambassador said: “I’ve tried my hand at a fair few activities over the years, from paddleboarding, to ballroom dancing, to birdwatching, the list goes on. It always surprises me how much you can learn about yourself – and the world – from putting yourself in new situations and trying different things. I never expected to become as proficient as I have in some of these activities nor did I imagine how much fun I’d get out of them.  

“Yet it is through opening up to new experiences, and by carving out the time and space that you can unlock huge joy and satisfaction and even make connections with new people or forge deeper ones with your friends and family.”

Bill Bailey and Scarlett Moffatt at The Royal Shakespeare Company.

Many simply don’t know how else to spend their downtime, with one in three admitting (32%) screen scrolling is a way to relax and escape the stresses of life, while for one in five (20%), say it’s a cheap way to spend their free time.

People are also venturing outside less, as digitisation has brought the outside world into their homes; 16% of people confess they don’t do any outdoor activities.

The good news is that two fifths (38%) of people want to break the digital habit and are actively trying to reduce the amount of time spent on social media. A third (34%) even admit that if they didn’t have social media, they would opt to spend their time on new pursuits.

A quarter (23%) are considering getting rid of all their social media in a bid to pursue more diverse interests. One out of three (32%) have gone as far as making it their New Year’s Resolution with 17% still managing to keep up this habit so far.

Scarlett Moffatt at The Royal Shakespeare Company.

Scarlett Moffatt, TV personality and National Lottery Open Week ambassador said: “As a new mam, life is brilliant but busy and you don’t always get the chance to get out and try something new. That’s why Bill and I loved visiting the incredible Royal Shakespeare Company. It was a great opportunity to open up to the wonderful world of National Lottery Open Week. The best part is that you can too! I want to encourage everyone to take advantage of the free and discounted offers and head outside to explore some of the fun and fascinating things the UK has to offer.”

To open up with National Lottery Open Week, and experience something new, players can use any retail or online National Lottery ticket, Scratch card or Instant Win Games, for free entry and special offers at selected attractions between 9th and 17th March 2024.

There’s an experience for everyone this National Lottery Open Week. To say thank you to players who help to raise £30 million for Good Causes every week hundreds of National Lottery funded venues taking part will offer free entry and discounts including selected National Trust, National Trust for Scotland, English Heritage and RSPB sites, as well as top attractions including Eden Project, Scottish Gas Murrayfield Stadium, Wembley Stadium, Royal Shakespeare Company, Imperial War Museums and Millennium Centre in Wales. To view all venues and offers available, visit the link here.

Nodiadau i olygyddion

* On a nat rep survey of 1004 UK adults, 242 are Scrolling through social media is one of my hobbies. 242 / 1004 * 53188000 (UK adult population) = 12820215 (shorthand 12.8 million)

** Research conducted by Opinium between 16th -19th January 2024 among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults.

*** Research conducted by Opinium between 2nd-6th February 2024 among a nationally representative sample of 4,000 UK adults.