Let’s not call the feelings of slowness or confusion we’ve recently experienced “boredom.” Let’s call it “paralyzed because of unusual amounts of free time.” Not everyone has experienced a slower pace of life to the same degree, but there are certainly many individuals who had more time to fill once lockdowns began.

CivicScience data show 88% of U.S. adults have a hobby of some kind and 62% of them have reported spending money on their pastime in the last 30 days.

For the purpose of this survey, CivicScience selected the following as typical categories for hobbies across America. ‘Outdoor activities’ appeared to be the most popular hobby for U.S. adults.

The higher a person’s annual income, the more likely they were to say their hobby is outdoor-related. Higher earners also showed a greater draw to health and fitness hobbies than those making under $100K.

Middle- to low-income earners were more likely to say they put their time into reading and learning.

While the majority of hobby spenders over the last 30 days spent under $50, nearly 20% dropped $100 or more. And, unsurprisingly, the bigger spenders were also the higher earners and the ones who are working as usual as a result of the pandemic. 

Considering the most popular category was outdoor activities, CivicScience took a deeper look at outdoor apparel and equipment brands Dick’s Sporting Goods and REI. REI favorables appeared to be the slightly bigger spenders overall on hobbies than Dick’s fans (by 7%), but when it came to category, Dick’s fans were much more varied in their interests than REI fans.

It is possible that the phased reopening of the country could slow consumer spending on hobbies but, as of this writing, spending on hobbies does not seem to correlate with preferences for either remaining in quarantine or resuming daily activities. 

The one area of comfortability that did show a stark difference was in relation to work: Those who have not recently spent money on their hobby are much more comfortable with returning to work in under a month. 

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