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Bored with lockdown? These are the top 10 hobbies women have discovered

With the UK in the midst of another lockdown, research reveals the hobbies women are turning to tackle boredom and develop new skills to pass the time.

The survey of 1,000 UK women, carried out by the UK’s leading independent online florist Serenata Flowers, reveals that half (50%) of British women have taken up a new hobby since the pandemic began, with 67% practising their new skill at least once a week.   

Of those who have taken up a new hobby, a large proportion claim to have refined their skills in the kitchen and garden, with cooking (34%), baking (31%) and gardening (26%) appearing top of the list of the most popular new skills – this is likely inspired by television favourites such as The Great British Bake Off, MasterChef and Love Your Garden. 

An additional 25% say they have made more time for regular reading – read our book reviewer Pam Norfolk’s best reads here – since the start of the pandemic, followed by textile art such as knitting, crocheting and embroidery (15%) which completed the top five list. 

The research found there were some significant mental health benefits associated to learning a new skill, as 26% of respondents say it helps them to unwind, 26% say it helps to combat stress, while 24% say it allows them to switch off.

Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) say that their new hobby has helped to increase their overall happiness, which is something many people have needed since the start of the pandemic.

Identifying some of the other top reasons why British women are taking up new hobbies, 28% say they wanted to fill their spare time during lockdown, 24% wanted to cure boredom, and nearly 1 in 4 (23%) say they wanted to be more productive during such an uncertain time. 

Looking at the skills women would most like to learn, of those who said they would be interested in learning something new, learning a new language (20%) came top of the list, followed by fine arts such as painting, sculpting, sketching and crafting (17%).

Next on the list was learning to play an instrument (17%), followed by baking (14%), and completing the top five, 14% said they would love to learn the art of flower arranging.

The research found that women aged 35-44 were most likely to undertake a new hobby or learn a new skill.

Top ten skills women have learned:

  1. Cooking (34%)
  2. Baking (31%)
  3. Gardening (26%)
  4. Reading (25%)
  5. Knitting / crochet / embroidery (15%)
  6. Yoga / meditating / mindfulness (15%)
  7. Gaming (13%)
  8. Painting / sculpting / sketching / crafting (12%)
  9. Writing (10%)
  10. Dancing (9%)

Top ten skills women want to learn most:

  1. Learning a new language (20%)
  2. Painting / Sculpting / sketching / crafting (17%)
  3. Playing an instrument (17%)
  4. Baking (14%)
  5. Flower arranging (14%)
  6. Photography / video making (13%)
  7. Dancing (12%)
  8. Knitting / crochet / embroidery (12%)
  9. Yoga / meditating / mindfulness (12%)
  10. Woodwork / upcycling furniture (12%)
Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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