Americans Spend About Five Hours a Day on Leisure Activities

Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time, accounting for just over half of all leisure time, on average, according to the American Time Use Survey.

On an average day in 2017, nearly everyone age 15 and older (96%) engaged in some sort of leisure activity, such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising, according to the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

 

Men spent 33 minutes per day more in these activities than did women (5.5 hours, compared with 5.0 hours).

 

Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for just over half of all leisure time, on average. The amount of time people spent watching TV varied by age. Those ages 15 to 44 spent the least amount of time watching TV, averaging around two hours per day, and those ages 65 and older spent the most time watching TV, averaging over four hours per day.

 

Socializing and communicating, such as visiting with friends or attending or hosting social events, accounted for an average of 39 minutes per day, and was the next most common leisure activity after watching TV. People spent about twice as much time socializing on weekend days (58 minutes) as on weekdays (31 minutes).

 

According to the BLS report, time spent reading for personal interest varied greatly by age. Individuals age 75 and older averaged 51 minutes of reading per day whereas individuals ages 15 to 44 read for an average of 10 minutes or less per day.

 

On average, individuals ages 15 to 24 spent the most time playing games or using a computer for leisure—about one hour per day. Conversely, individuals ages 35 to 44 spent the least amount of time playing games or using a computer for leisure—13 minutes per day.

 

Employed adults living in households with no children younger than age 18 engaged in leisure and sports activities for 4.5 hours per day, 1.2 hours more than employed adults living with a child younger than age 6.

 

More information about how Americans spend their time may be found here.