Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

How Americans spend their time: American Time Use Survey by U.S. Labor Dept.

See also

If you ever wondered how you compare to other Americans in terms of how you spend your time from day to day, that information is now available as the United States Department of Labor has released its results of the “American Time Use Survey,” according to the Washington Post on Friday. The survey shows that when it comes to the typical work week – Monday through Friday – Americans keep, for the most part, the same schedule when it comes to working, sleeping, and other daily activities. The weekends mix it up quite a bit, as one might assume. Yet, one may find the details of the various categories surprising.

The neat thing about the survey is that it might help one plan their week better. For example, the survey shows when people shop the least – and most – which might give a person an idea for the best time to go shopping for groceries to avoid the crowds. Likewise, the survey shows when most people do their laundry. Again, for those who need to go to the Laundromat, it gives a person information on the best time to go to find available washers and driers. Or, on the other hand, it might give a person information on the best time to find a crowd – if one is inclined to want to meet people while doing laundry.

Nevertheless, here’s what the survey put out by the U.S. Department of Labor web site says about Americans and the use of their time. When it comes to working, Americans work the longest on Tuesday. That might be why Americans also have the most difficult time falling asleep on Tuesday as well. Americans work about four-and-a-half hours a day from Monday through Friday on the average. They work about a third of that amount of time on Saturday and even less on Sunday. While that may sound inaccurate or confusing at first, realize that this survey included people from 15 years of age on up. Therefore, there are unemployed people, retired people and students included in the mix – as well as the working people throughout the country.

When it comes to sleeping, Americans sleep about eight-and-a-half hours on Monday through Friday, but around nine hours on Saturdays and a bit more than that on Sunday. Leisure time runs about four hours on Tuesday through Thursday, with a little more time spent leisurely on Mondays and Fridays. As one would expect, leisure time increases greatly on Saturday and Sunday when the survey results assert that six hours a day are spent on leisure activities.

When it comes to working around the house, Americans spend a little less than two hours a day during the weekdays but more than two hours on the weekend. Throughout the week, all seven days, the amount of time that Americans spend traveling is about the same - around an hour.

Beyond these generalities, the U.S. Department of Labor web site broke down the data even further. For example, specifically, Americans spend about 4 hours and 12 minutes working every Tuesday. On Fridays, Americans only work 3 hours and 52 minutes on the average. The minute details show that Americans take longer to fall asleep on Tuesday than any other night. It takes people more than four minutes to fall asleep on Tuesday when it only takes about two-and-a-half minutes to fall asleep on Friday which is the easiest time for people to fall asleep. Apparently, Friday is the night people don’t have to think about their rigorous weekdays’ work and responsibilities.

Chores like laundry are detailed in the study. The best times to avoid the crowds at a laundromat are on Wednesday through Friday when the average is only about 8 minutes. The heavy times for laundry are on the weekends. On the average, 12 minutes are spent on laundry on Saturday and a bit more time on Sunday. People tend to do laundry more on Monday other than the other weekdays. So, plan accordingly.

Likewise, grocery shopping is best on Wednesday for persons who want to avoid the crowds. The least amount of grocery shopping is done on Wednesday when people spend about five minutes shopping, followed by Monday and Tuesday when people spend a little more time shopping. Leading into the weekend, there is more shopping done on Thursday and Friday. By far, the most time shopping time is spent on Saturday when people spend eight-and-a-half minutes shopping. On Sunday, people spend about 7 minutes.

As for the amount of time Americans sit around filling their pie-hole, they spend quite a bit of time eating and drinking. On Monday through Thursday, Americans spend 60-to-65 minutes a day eating and drinking. On Friday, that amount of time is increased to 70 minutes. On the weekend days, the amount of time increases a little more than the 70 minutes spent on Friday.

According to the report, people spend about 20 hours per week watching television. This sounds strange to people who say there isn’t much good on television and don’t watch it. Yet, Americans spend two-and-a-half hours – or a little bit longer - watching television on Monday through Friday. They spend over 3 hours on Saturday and, quite incredibly, about three-and-a-half hours watching TV on Sunday.

When it comes to personal grooming – showering, makeup, hair and the like – there is little difference throughout the whole week. Every day, Americans spend about 40 minutes on themselves. Only on Saturday, the time drops off to about 38 minutes.

When it comes to doing religious activities, Americans spend about five minutes a day on their religion on Monday through Friday. This could mean there is a lot of power-praying going on during the weekdays – and, ironically, these are the days people may most need their prayers to be answered. On Saturday, the average jumps up to 7 minutes. On Sunday, the time spent on religious activities increases to about 32 minutes. As expected, Sunday is the big day for religious activities.

The survey even shows the amount of time pet owners spend with their pets. People spend about 35 minutes with their pets on Monday through Wednesday. They spend about 40 minutes with their pets on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. American pets get most of their owners’ time on Saturday when Americans spend about 45 minutes with their pets.

With all that Americans do and have to do with their time, they still find time to socialize. However, they don’t spend very much time socializing these days. On Monday through Friday, they spend about 30 minutes a day on socialization with the least amount of time being on Tuesday. Remember, Tuesday is the day that Americans work the longest amount of time. On Friday, they socialize about 40 minutes. On Saturday and Sunday, they socialize more, but still less than an hour. On Saturday, people socialize about 55 minutes on the average and on Sunday they socialize about 50 minutes on the average.

When it comes to all leisure activities combined - socializing, watching television, exercising and the like - it was found that people living in a house with no children under the age of 18 spent four-and-a-half hours a day on leisure activities. Persons with a child under the age of 6 in the house spend about three-and-a-half hours on leisure activities a day. Regardless of the household situation, however, everyone over the age of 15 involved with the survey spends part of their day on social activities. If you’re keeping track, it probably took about 4 minutes of leisure time to read this article.

Advertisement

News

  • Gaza conflict
    Israel official: Ceasefire and expanding Gaza conflict are both being discussed
    Video
    Video
  • Air Algerie crash
    Conflicting reports about the Air Algerie disappearance begin to emerge
    Top News
  • Arizona execution
    A Senator familiar with torture denounces Joseph Wood's botched execution as such
    US News
  • Ray Rice suspended
    Ravens' running back Ray Rice is suspended for two games for a domestic violence arrest
    Sports
  • Amazon tribe falls ill
    An Amazonian tribe catches influenza after making first contact with the developed world
    Headlines
  • CIA prison in Poland
    Poland is declared guilty of human rights violations for hosting a secret CIA prison
    Video
    Video