Special Report

What Americans Do When Not at Work

4. Eating and Drinking
> Average time spent: 1.25 hours
> Pct. Americans engage on a given day: 96%

Americans spent an hour and 15 minutes a day eating and drinking. As people get older, they spend more time on this activity. For instance, the average person over the age of 75 spent 1.5 hours eating and drinking in 2012, while Americans between 15 and 19 took just an hour. Men spent one hour and 18 minutes eating, compared to one hour and 12 minutes for women.

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3. Household Activities
> Average time spent: 1.74 hours
> Pct. Americans engage on a given day: 73.7%

Men spent approximately one hour and 17 minutes performing household activities, while women spent more than two hours and 10 minutes. The most common household activity was housework, which accounted for 36 minutes of an average person’s day. But in both housework and household activities alone, men who participated actually spent more time than women performing these tasks. Also, 11.7% of men participated in lawn and gardening activities on an average day, compared to just 8% of women. Of those who worked on the lawn or garden, men spent 38% more time on the task than women.

2. Leisure and Sports
> Average time spent: 5.37 hours
> Pct. Americans engage on a given day: 96.2%

Americans spent an average of two hours and 50 minutes a day watching television, making it the most common leisure activity. The more than 80% of people who watched TV on any given day watched more than 3.5 hours a day. Americans on an average day also spent 45 minutes socializing and communicating, with more than 37% of people spending two hours. Americans also spent more than 19 minutes participating in sports, exercise and recreation, with more than 19% participating spending an hour and 40 minutes on these activities.

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1. Personal Care Activities
> Average time spent: 9.49 hours
> Pct. Americans engage on a given day: 100%

Americans spent 9.5 hours partaking in personal care activities — far more time than on anything else during the day. The vast majority of that time — eight hours and 44 minutes — was spent on sleeping. Women slept an average of eight hours and 52 minutes, compared to eight hours and 36 minutes for men. There were some people who got far less sleep, however. For instance, 20% of Americans reported getting less than six hours of sleep a night.

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