An unhappy St. Patrick’s Day for local establishments (copy)

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Vermonters were thrilled when they heard they could once again return to their favorite bar or gym when various restrictions were lifted, but which did they miss more?

A survey conducted by the American Addiction Centers, which polled about 3,000 Americans ages 21 and older, found that Vermonters leaned slightly towards missing their favorite drinking establishment more than their gym since the pandemic started with a 52% and 48% total, respectively.

With people spending more time at home — either not being able to attend events or being out of work — the research indicated that they may have lost motivation for everyday tasks like cleaning or exercising and instead found it easier to reach for a drink to pass time or subdue anxiety.

One in three people surveyed said they spent more time drinking than working out at home during closures while more than a quarter of the participants said they missed their bartender — one in five knowing their local bartender by name.

Cooking, baking, or drinking may have been ways for people to pass time or reward themselves during stressful times since March, and it appears that more people opted to pursue unhealthy lifestyle options after not being able to go to a gym, attend a group workout class, or meet with friends for a hike.

The survey found that 59% of Americans have spent more money on alcohol than home exercise during the pandemic, and one in three gym goers reconsidered maintaining their membership.

Across the nation, Delaware topped the chart with 83% of its residents saying they missed regular visits to the bar more than those to the gym. Arizona and New Mexico were at the other end of the spectrum with just 30% of respondents in each state claiming they missed the bar more than the gym.

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