LONDON — Are you too cool to pool? A survey of 2,000 British adults found that three in 10 haven’t been swimming in a public pool in the last decade.
Perhaps more surprisingly, three out of 100 haven’t ever taken a dip in a public pool, despite the wealth of health benefits that come from swimming.
When asked why they avoid pools, researchers found that the top reason two reasons, respectively, were that people felt they didn’t have the time and they only went swimming while on vacation. Many participants also admitted they were self-conscious of what they looked like in their swimming suits. Other reasons included not wanting to use public changing rooms, not feeling confident enough in the water, and not being able to swim at all. Additionally, one in seven respondents said that swimming is too expensive.
Interestingly, one in five people surveyed say they can’t swim, and a fifth of that group believes it’s too late to learn. It’s no surprise then that 45% agree they wished they’d started swimming earlier in life.
The canned seafood company John West commissioned the survey as a part of its Get Yourself Shipshape campaign.
“It’s really surprising how many people in the country are unable to swim, even though they are aware of the many benefits of swimming,” says Rebecca Adlington, an Olympic swimmer and Get Yourself Shipshape spokesperson, in a statement. “For many of us who were taught at a young age, it seems as if we’ve always had the ability – but it’s easy to forget swimming doesn’t come naturally to many people.”
It’s clear that most British adults at least want to promote swimming among younger generations; 90% of those surveyed said they believe it’s important for children to learn how to swim because it’s a particularly useful and healthy form of exercise.
Overall, 71% said they don’t swim as much as they did as children, with about a fifth claiming they just don’t have enough time.
The survey was conducted by OnePoll.