A MAJOR new study has revealed that fishing and boating are the most popular leisure activities for Americans wanting to spend time with their families.

Eighty-seven per cent of Americans believe these two sports have a positive effect on family relationships, according to the survey by the recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, and they are seen as the best way to make the most of being a family

Bruce Matthews, president and CEO of the RBFF, explained: “It is time for families to turn off their computers and televisions and rediscover one another through fishing and boating. We are challenging American families to get out on the water and reconnect. It’s hard not to relax and have a good time together when you are on the water.”

With thousands of events having taken place recently as part of the US’ second National Fishing and Boating Week, it is clear that the trade can feel extremely positive about the involvement of families in the nation’s two favourite pastimes – recreational boating and fishing.

RBFF interviewed 1,013 randomly selected adults nationwide, with the data weighted to reflect the demographic make-up of the adult US population. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Fishing and boating were said to be the best way to spend quality time with family by 35 per cent of those quizzed, followed by playing team sports (21 per cent), watching TV (18 per cent), going to the movies (16 per cent) and playing computer games (four per cent).

In addition to helping families get together, RBFF’s survey found that 90 per cent of Americans believe that fishing and boating help reduce the stress levels in their lives. It also revealed that in the last two years more than 55 per cent of Americans have been fishing and boating.

Bruce added: “We’ve all read the news reports about Americans working more, spending less time with family and friends and having high levels of stress.

“Take a break, breathe some fresh air and get out on the water together. Fishing and boating are favourite American traditions that promote family values and cohesiveness, as well as provide wholesome recreational outdoor activities.”

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