Study reveals most popular hobbies during the coronavirus outbreak

With many countries across the world implementing social distancing or full lockdowns, what’s certain is that millions of people are spending more time at home than usual. In an effort to keep busy, motivated, and fulfilled, people are taking up new hobbies or doing more of an existing one.

Nerd Bear — a website covering all aspects of nerd culture from comic book movies and TV to gaming and tech — conducted a survey of the most popular hobbies and some analysis into interesting search trends that are developing. Additionally, it asked about their communication with friends, family, and neighbours.

Why we need hobbies?

During these stressful and uncertain times, many social, physical, and mental activities and routines are disrupted. Thankfully, hobbies can be there to fill the void and have many benefits:

  • Hobbies help you structure your time and make you more efficient.
  • You can develop and nurture social connections through hobbies.
  • Hobbies make you more interesting and add layers to your self-identity.
  • Hobbies help alleviate stress.
  • Hobbies can teach you new skills that can help with your career.
  • Hobbies help you to be more innovative.
  • Hobbies help with recovery from tough days.
  • Creative hobbies can help you recover from mental health issues.

Now we know why they are so important, which one is the most popular?

The most popular hobbies during the coronavirus outbreak

  • The top 3 most popular hobbies are watching TV and movies, reading, and working out.
  • The three least popular hobbies are learning a language, learning an instrument, and writing.
  • 1 in 2 are reading to pass the time.
  • 1 in 3 said that they were doing arts and crafts and playing board games.

An analysis of search trends also uncovered some interesting figures.

  • The interest in home workouts is five times more popular than it was at the same time last year.
  • The interest in co-op games has doubled.
  • The interest in apocalypse movies has spiked by over 6.5 times.

Communication during social distancing

During the survey, it was also found that social distancing might be more adequately called physical distancing.

28% of people reported that they are speaking to friends and family more.

44% of people reported that they are speaking to neighbors less.

This would suggest that people aren’t physically around in their neighborhoods to talk to neighbors (as we would expect), but people are using the time at home to connect with friends and family more.

The most popular hobbies in order are:

  • 1. Watching TV Shows and Movies
  • 2. Reading
  • 3. Working Out
  • 4. Arts and Crafts
  • 5. Board Games
  • 6. DIY
  • 7. Yoga
  • 8. Baking
  • 9. Gardening
  • 10. Video Games
  • 11. Meditation
  • 12. Audiobooks and Podcasts
  • 13. Writing
  • 14. Learning a Language
  • 15. Learning an Instrument

Research also found that the interest in home workouts has increased five-fold, and interest in Netflix has gone up 122%.


Nerd Bear surveyed 750 Americans about their hobbies and pastimes. They also used Google Trends search interest from February 24 until March 21, 2020, calculating the percentage increase in interest in those topics.

— Nerd Bear

— AB

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