Two-thirds of Americans are afraid of deep water in lakes, rivers, and oceans
A study performed by Gallup (n-815) and presented at the 2008 World Aquatic Health Conference (Melon Dash) indicates that 64% of Americans are afraid in the deep, open water (lakes, rivers, oceans, etc.) Forty-six percent are afraid in deep water in pools. Even 39% are afraid to put their heads under water. It seems reasonable to surmise that if an individual is afraid of a specific environment, it is less likely that the individual would advocate participating in activities in that environment. If that individual has influence of family purchasing decisions, it is reasonable to conclude that over half of American households may oppose the idea of engaging in aquatic activities.
People don’t think about “strokes” when they think they are going to die
Overcoming change is a substantial barrier for most people. Overcoming fear is even a greater obstacle. Gallup research suggests that almost half of American adults fear deep water. Most learn-to-swim programs focus on children and development of the ability to perform a variety of swim strokes. The marketing of learn-to-swim programs may not connect to this large market segment. As a result, in it important to explore and support programs that are tailored to the fearful adult.
The above data was shared at the Learn-To-Swim Innovator Meeting in Colorado Springs Colorado on April 25, 2012. This meeting was sponsored by the National Swimming Pool Foundation