There is something very special about spending time with likeminded people, who inspire and motivate you to strive for your best, lift you up and make you feel both normal and special at the same time. That’s exactly how I felt at the annual GetOutside get together, which this year took place up in the Peak District, where I officially started my third year as an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion.
I have blogged about the GetOutside campaign many times now (this was last year’s launch post), and I’m not about to apologise for that. The fact is I really, genuinely, think it’s a great campaign that needs to be shared. GetOutside was started by Ordnance Survey to help more people to get outside more often. We know from research study after research study that an active outdoor lifestyle helps us live longer, stay younger and enjoy life more. What more could we want?
And it’s working… I’m told that the GetOutside campaign inspired 5.2 million people in 2018. On GetOutside Day back in September, which I chose to mark by taking part in as many outdoors activities as I could in 48 hours (read about it here and watch the video here), over 1.4 million people got outside as part of the event. Not bad, huh? In addition to all that individual effort, there are now 50 industry partners working together towards the GetOutside objective, including interest from companies and organisations outside of the outdoors industry. And to qualify this, GetOutside won campaign of the year in the UK Active awards in 2018, and has just won the same from the OIA in the last week or so.
…but, there is still a very long way to go. This year’s tea-spitting quote of the launch event was:
“On average, as a nation, we spend more time on the toilet than being active.”
Gina Radford, Deputy Chief Medical Officer.
That’s right, and it’s nothing to do with eating too much spicy food or not getting enough fibre… According to a new poll, we spend twice as long on the loo each week as they spend exercising. The average British adult spends three hours and nine minutes sitting on the toilet every week, but just 90 minutes exercising. In fact, 26% of adults are active for 30 minutes or less every seven days.
I’m not sure what the answer is, I guess for many people the idea of getting fresh air and natural light is very much a nice-to-have rather than a necessity they form into a habit. And that is why I continue to be actively involved in a campaign that aims to sort those stats out once and for all.
I can’t deny that I get a massive case of imposter syndrome whenever I meetup with the GetOutside lot – my fellow Champions are quite an amazing bunch of people. Some have climbed Everest, some have hiked up hundreds of mountains, some have done all the National Trails in the UK, some make TV shows, some race for their country, some have cycled across countries and even continents, some have run ultra-marathons, some have written books, some take other people on their own amazing adventures, and some have done all of those things. I’m not that person, I’m just a normal woman in her late 30s (ugh!) who works full time and does her best to squeeze adventure into her evenings and weekends. And the cheaper the adventure and the sillier the purpose the better. I’m not even particularly fit!
But I am here and a part of this because I am that normal women in her late 30s trying to squeeze in as much outdoors as possible. I am proof that spending a little bit of time outside every day is good for us, I am here to tell you that it is doable, that it is worth it, and that we can all find the time for it if we look hard enough. I know that it is good for body, mind and soul. I know that it helps me make good decisions. I know that when I walk to work my morning gets off to a much better start. I know that a lunchtime walk around the block makes my afternoon productivity way higher than if I sit and eat at my desk. I know that GetOutside works. And I want you to get as much of it as you can too.
The main aim this year, for me, for the whole team of GetOutside Champions, is to encourage everyday people to spend time outside every day. I suspect that by reading this post, knowing that most of my content surrounds this idea of spending a little bit of time outside every day, you are probably already on it – you squeeze some natural light and fresh air into your day to day routine in all kinds of ingenious ways. But what about those who don’t?
These posts are always hard to finish. I feel like I’ve been rambling on forever, so I guess I’ll finish with an invitation. Will you spend a little bit of time outside every day this week? This month? This year? Maybe One Hour Outside is for you, or maybe you can only manage 15 minutes. Whatever you do, however long it lasts, come over to twitter and tell me about it using #GetOutside and #OneHourOutside – I’d love to hear how outdoorsy your 2019 becomes.
If you want to find out more about the Ordnance Survey GetOutside campaign and my fellow champions, head over to GetOutside.uk.
In the interests of full disclosure, I have been chosen as a GetOutside Champion and as such will harp on about the #GetOutside campaign a lot. I’m not sponsored, they don’t pay me to write blog posts, but I have signed up as an ambassador and I am proud of that. The orange GetOutside jackets we’re all wearing were a gift from Craghoppers.
Photos all courtesy of Ordnance Survey. Aren’t we a bunch of oranges?!