Brits and the weather: Are we really that obsessed?
We are a nation of tea drinkers, apologetics and people who love to queue. And, we can add weather-obsessed to that list.
With the weather turning cold, tombola has surveyed the British public to analyse our relationship with the weather, revealing just how much of our day is spent discussing the cold, rain, wind or rare sun that we see in the UK.
22% of Brits surveyed spend a FULL two and a half days talking about the weather over the year
tombola’s research can reveal that over 1 in 5 (22%) of Brits spend more than 10 minutes per day - or a staggering 2.5 days across the whole year - talking about Britain’s infamous weather. To put that into perspective, that’s 125 days over their working lifetime!
9% went on to say they talk about this for 30 minutes each day, or almost eight days over the year. That’s more than a full week talking about the weather alone.
75% of people talk about the weather up to five times a day
For three quarters (75%) of the people surveyed, the climate crops up in conversation up to five times a day when talking to colleagues and friends. What’s more surprising is that 7% bring up the weather in conversation over 25 times each day! That’s a lot of talk about the temperature when logging on to start work or getting into the office.
So, it seems that we might have an ‘unhealthy’ obsession with the weather, and this has spread onto social media.
Brits are obsessed with the weather, with 1 in 8 tweeting about it daily
Twitter has become part and parcel of our daily life, especially with so many of us unable to see our friends and family. So, it’s little surprise that many of us have taken to Twitter in our droves to tweet about the country’s ever changing climate.
12% (1 in 8) of people surveyed said they tweet daily about the weather, with 5% of those stating they do this multiple times throughout the day.
A further 21% said they keep their followers updated on the weather weekly. Maybe it’s because Brits love small talk or have been in national lockdowns for multiple months, but the temperature is now part of our daily routine.
1 in 5 said they complain about the weather every day to their friends and colleagues
As a nation of weather enthusiasts, it’s little surprise that tombola’s survey can reveal that, overall, 1 in 5 surveyed said they complain about the weather daily.
Lee Chambers, Environmental Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant, said: “There are several reasons why we talk about the weather regularly. Firstly, it's a very safe topic because it affects everyone. Because the weather also affects our moods, it's often something we notice.”
With the weather changing from hot and cold within a matter of minutes and Britain experiencing one of the coldest winters, it comes as no shock that so many of us complain about it in conversation with colleagues and friends. And, with Britain currently in lockdown , it could be that we haven’t much to update each other on than the weather…
Men spend up to eight days talking about the weather
It’s official. tombola can reveal that the biggest complainers about the weather are… men. 11% of men surveyed said they spend more than 30 minutes talking about the weather each day, compared to just 7% of women.
That’s the equivalent of almost eight days spent solely talking about Britain’s climate over the year.
But who are the biggest complainers? Is it the North, or the South?
The North complains about the weather more than the South
After analysing the regions that, typically, make up the North and the South - 20% of Northerners surveyed complain about the climate each day, compared to 15% of Southerners. But there could be a reason for that.
The North experiences colder weather than the South, as well as more snowfall, so it comes as no shock that Northerners find themselves talking about the weather in conversation more.
But what’s more surprising is that it’s Midlander’s that complain about weather daily more than any other area in England. 28% of people surveyed in the West Midlands say they bring it up each day.
People in Northern Ireland talk about the weather daily more than any other UK region
According to tombola’s study,38% of people surveyed from Northern Ireland complain about the weather daily - that’s more than any other UK region. With an average of 231 days of rain per year in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, it stands to reason people would likely be complaining about the ever-changing weather each day.
Least likely to talk about the weather, though, are people in Wales, with only 10% saying the subject crops up daily.
But why do we spend so much time talking about this?
How to stop the weather from affecting your productivity
Karen Liebenguth, accredited mindfulness teacher and certified coach, said: “In the UK, the weather is different almost every day and often changes a few times throughout the day, it’s noticeable and so provides a topic of conversation. While we can’t change the weather, we can try and change our thoughts.”
Environmental psychologist, Lee Chambers, went on to say: “The weather impacts our moods in a multitude of ways. Sunshine can boost positivity, dampen negative moods and reduce fatigue. As the temperature changes, so do our thermal comfort levels, and the overwhelming feeling of too hot or too cold amplifies our moods. Atmospheric pressure can impact our moods and minds, while humidity tends to drain us mentally and physically. And on rainy days, people report lower levels of life satisfaction.”
But there are ways to boost your productivity even if the sun isn’t shining.
Put your lights on a timer for the illusion of sunrise
A lack of sunlight can affect your mood, appetite and even sleep patterns. If you are struggling to get outdoors when it is light, consider setting your lights on a timer if possible, to gently wake you up and replicate the illusion of a sunrise.
Try and move about before starting work
Cold temperatures can leave you feeling unmotivated, and we all know how hard it is to get out of bed in the morning. But, taking some time out in the morning for 15 minutes (if able) to move around and do some stretches will help get the blood flowing and leave you more motivated to start the day.
Pass the potatoes
Rainy days can cause our serotonin levels to dip, which means we are more likely to crave carbs. Instead of heading straight for the packet of pasta, cook the likes of potatoes or parsnips which are rich in starch and packed full of nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
Gentle exercise can ease rain pain
For some, rain can cause actual physical discomfort. If you are one of those, try some gentle exercise such as yoga to reduce stiffness and pain and set you up for the day ahead.
Head outside for a walk to clear your mind
Researchers have discovered that just 30 minutes outside can help your mood, memory and creativity. If you have the chance, head outside in your local area to boost your productivity levels.
If you are still looking for ways to improve your mood and productivity, check out the amazing ways your pets can help your mental health.