Health-conscious people in Scotland are turning to tap water to help them stay fit during lockdown.
A new poll has found that people plan to drink more of Scotland’s world-class water as they walk, run or cycle in 2021.
The survey – commissioned by Scottish Water via YouGov* – reveals that a third of adults in Scotland (32%) intend to drink more tap water to help with mental well-being and protect the environment.
And the survey showed women aged 18-24 are the most likely to be drinking more tap water (54%) this year.
The results are major boost to Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign which aims to both celebrate Scotland’s tap water and encourage us all to top up from the tap and reduce waste including single use plastics. From a separate survey, 93% of people in Scotland agree refilling a reusable bottle from the tap is helpful for the environment and 83% agree that Scotland’s water is a precious natural resource.
A central theme of the campaign has been the roll out of Top up Taps at locations across Scotland, which are allowing people to stay hydrated on the go by topping up their refillable bottles for free.
And the latest TV ad for Your Water Your Life underlines the benefits of topping up from the tap while people are on their permitted lockdown walk or exercise.
The poll findings have been welcomed by Scotland’s National Clinical Director Professor Jason Leitch as further endorsement of how keeping hydrated can help people as they cope with the challenges of lockdown.
Professor Leitch said:
“Water is vital for life. It makes up around 60% of a person’s body, so it’s not surprising that a drop in levels can impact on our health, vitality and performance.
“When time allows, I have been going out for runs to stay both physically and mentally happy, so I know how important it is to ensure I drink plenty of water both during and afterwards.
“We are all coping in different ways with lockdown and keeping hydrated – whether in or outdoors – is so important, And, of course, we are can be extremely thankful that we have such good quality tap water to enjoy at home and outside.”
The survey, carried out by YouGov in January, showed that 32% of people are intending to either drink a lot or a little more in 2021, which equates to 1.4million people.
Of that 32%, 76% say it’s to improve their physical health, 56% to help protect the environment by reducing plastic waste and 41% to improve their mental wellbeing. That equates to 31% of the Scottish population (or 1.3million) who are planning to drink more in 2021 to improve their health, mental well-being or protect the environment.
The public desire to drink more water matches the ever-growing popularity of usage of Scottish Water’s Top up Taps, which are now in 39 locations across Scotland. The equivalent of more than 350,000 plastic bottles or nearly 117,000 litres have been saved by people topping up from the network of the distinctive bright blue water refill points since the project was launched two years ago. Scottish Water is to install further taps throughout the country as the rollout programme continues.
Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs at Scottish Water, said Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign aims to encourage people to top up from the tap to benefit the planet, their health and their pocket and celebrate the country’s precious, natural resource.
“Of all the things we can do to stay healthy – such as getting more sleep, exercise or eating more vegetables, water is amazing in its simplicity. Coming straight from the tap, it’s easy and accessible. And what’s more, the quality of Scotland’s tap water is world class.
“This research, coupled with the take-up of our Top up Taps, shows that people are increasingly seeing the well-being benefits of drinking more water – particularly as they enjoy a walk, run or other exercise.
“By topping up with tap water, at home or when out and about, we’re helping support the movement to reduce upstream litter which can harm our waterways and environment.”
Elsewhere the YouGov survey found an estimated 1.8 million adults in Scotland intend to increase their efforts to help protect the environment in 2021, that’s 42% of the population.
Around 29% of the adult population (1.28 million) are planning to do things in and around the home to help save water such as turning the tap off when brushing teeth, washing the car by hand and only boiling the minimum amount of water needed in the kettle. And 27% (1.19 million) plan to drink tap water to help reduce waste from single use plastics.
*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,029 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th– 21st January 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).
 8-10 September 2020 YouGov Survey +1000 adults