New Poll Shows Spring Fever Sweeping the Nation

More Than 90% Of Americans Report Their Quality of Life Improves When They Can Spend More Time Outdoors

Apr 01, 2014, 12:44 ET from Heart+Mind Strategies

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The first day of Spring arrived nearly two weeks ago, while most of America was still weathering the polar vortex.  Even today, a massive winter storm is just finishing its sweep through the Midwest—no April Fooling.

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A new poll, released today from Heart+Mind Strategies, shows nearly half (44%) of Americans reporting a high level of Spring Fever—providing a rating of 8, 9, or 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 where a 10 means I have Spring Fever bad and can't wait one more day for Spring to get here.  Only 15% report a 1, not having Spring Fever at all.  Not surprising, Spring Fever is especially rampant among residents of the Northeast (70%) and Midwest (53%).

Warmer weather is the most anticipated aspect of Spring (45%), followed by spending more time outside (29%), more greenery/floral beauty (15%), and more daylight (12%).  Though not quite one-third look forward to spending more time outdoors most, nine-in-ten (93%) Americans report that doing so has a positive impact on their quality of life.

"From booming metropolises like San Diego and Orlando, to rural areas such as the town of Superior, AZ and the state of Wyoming, we consistently see in our regional visioning initiatives across the country the profound impact enjoying the outdoors can have on quality of life for Americans," said Gretchen Comey, Solutions Director at Heart+Mind Strategies.  "What makes enjoying the outdoors so universally appealing is the diversity of personal values it taps into—such as happiness, freedom, peace of mind, well-being, and accomplishment."

Fewer than one-in-ten (7%) Americans report that spending time outdoors does not have a positive impact on their quality of life.  The rest of the nation shows the range of benefits from spending time outdoors:

  • It improves my overall quality of life (33%)
  • It helps me live a healthier lifestyle (23%)
  • It gives me the freedom to do things I enjoy most (21%)
  • It allows me to spend quality time with my friends and family (14%)
  • It makes me feel more secure (2%)

The Cleveland Clinic estimates between 10% and 20% of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—a depression cycle linked with the seasons, often Fall and Winter.  Most experts believe the shorter days with less exposure to sunlight, changes in melatonin and serotonin levels, or a disruption in the body's internal clock may be to blame. Young adults and women are most commonly affected by SAD—two groups also more likely to have a high degree of Spring Fever.  See other interesting subgroup differences.

In the early weeks of Spring, as we await the May flowers, treat your Spring Fever with a hearty dose of the outdoors.  Whether you seek adventure, quality time with those you love, or want to change up your approach to healthy living, spending time outdoors will set you on the path to satisfaction.


This report presents the findings of a survey conducted among a sample of 1,020 adults comprising 510 men and 510 women 18 years of age and older.

The online omnibus study is conducted twice a week among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older.  This survey was live on March 17-19, 2014.

Completed interviews are weighted by five variables:  age, sex, geographic region, race and education to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population, 18 years of age and older.  The raw data are weighted by a custom designed program which automatically develops a weighting factor for each respondent.  Each respondent is assigned a single weight derived from the relationship between the actual proportion of the population based on US Census data with its specific combination of age, sex, geographic characteristics, race and education and the proportion in the sample. 

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. The data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the 18+ population.  Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments.

About Heart+Mind Strategies (

We help clients understand the hearts and minds of the people that matter most to their enterprise; and we deliver the strategic decision making insight and advice to transform understanding into measurable success.

We are experts in human decision-making and its impact on marketing decisions and communications across industry and issue categories.  We apply a rigorous framework and an experience-driven set of principles that have elected presidents and prime ministers, strengthened corporations, bolstered declining industries, and reinvigorated global brands.

This point of view illuminates:

  • How and why people make the decisions they do
  • How perceptual equity can translate into bottom-line equity
  • The role and linkage of both reason and emotion in persuasion
  • What it takes to build measurable value

Gretchen Comey

SOURCE Heart+Mind Strategies