This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

September 10, 2008

Out of Doors---Finding our Element

Recently, a poll was conducted by the new "Open Air" Magazine regarding our preferences for being outside, activities we prefer, and with whom we prefer to do them. Some of the data are expected. Other data reflect surprising answers.

First, United States residents look to the out-of-doors for exercise. When answering the question, "If you were participating in an outdoor recreational activity, what would you look forward to the most, nearly 40 percent of us chose "Exercise" as our answer (over Companionship", "to forget about work", Solitude", and "Inspiration"). When asked where these US respondents would rather spend their "most cherished" weekend time, the answer was overwhelmingly "Outdoors" (48 percent). Coming in second and third were "At church" and "In the kitchen" (18.6 percent and 13.6 percent respectively).

In the US we also look to being outdoors for a change to relax and renew. The question was asked: "If you had a chance to spend a month alone in a cabin in the woods, what would you most hope to come away with?" These responses not surprisingly showed 36.4 percent answered "being rested and recharged", while 24.4 percent said "a greater appreciation of family/loved ones" and 20.6 percent chose "a greater sense of God".

The most telling set of answers came to the question: "Would you rather play golf with....?" Only 3.7 percent of the respondents indicated that they preferred their bosses. The respondents were twice as enthusiastic about playing golf with "a total stranger". Around the world, bosses are generally not the people we prefer to play with.

One question asked what would you liked to be snowed-in with at a cabin for a month. The results were as follows: 32.9 percent, "A Bible"; 24.1 percent, "A picture of your family"; and only 20.8 percents answered "their pet/dog".

These data reflect a growing interest in spending time out-of-doors and an understanding of the value of exercise. We view contemplative solitude as a chance to make ourselves better people and prefer golfing with friends and family over a chance to impress the boss. As a population, we seem to be fairly health-conscious.

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