Pastimes beat programmes for Britons

mum and daughter knitting

mum and daughter knittingIf you prefer to spend an hour cooking for the family or knitting presents for friends than an hour sat in front of the television, pleasingly you're not the only one.

Pastimes are beating programmes as a preferred way to relax, according to a survey, and it seems we are finally snubbing time in front of the box for time doing something more productive.

The survey, by Country Living Magazine, showed that people are now shunning modern time-using activities and are embracing traditional hobbies.

A large number of those who took part said they enjoy their hobby so much that they have considered turning their talent into turnover. About 50% of those aged under 35 would like to turn their pastime into full time.

Researchers hoped to uncover the secret pastime life of Britons, as part of Country Living's
Kitchen Table Talent Awards 2012 - their second annual awards. More than 25% of people have turned their backs on the TV and prefer sewing, knitting or cooking as ways to chill out instead, the study found.

Downing Street has recently supported more traditional hobbies, after opening Number 10's doors to British craft and design for the first time.

A quarter of those who responded to the research said they missed an hour of sleep for their hobby, showing how dedicated us Britons really are.

The study revealed that our passion for pastimes is so strong that we spend more than eight hours - the average working day - on them every week. Some 50% of people spend at least three evenings each week practising, but 59% said they would like more time to spend on their hobby.

According to researchers, during hard economic times and periods of unemployment, people look to older generations for guidance.

Nine in every 10 people said old-fashioned hobbies are their preferred way of forgetting about the stresses of modern life, while another 89% said they were happiest when participating in their pastime.

Susy Smith, editor of Country Living, said: "It is great to see how passionate people are about their hobbies, so much so that they even give up television and sacrifice sleep to develop their skills.

"Home-grown talent needs to be recognised and given a helping hand, which is what the Kitchen Table Talent Awards are all about.

"We believe this year's competition will be even stronger than the hugely successful 2011 campaign."