Time spent in leisure activities in 2014, by gender, age, and educational attainment

June 29, 2015

On an average day in 2014, nearly everyone age 15 and over (96 percent) engaged in some sort of leisure activity such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising. Among those who engaged in leisure activities, men spent more time in these activities (6.0 hours) than did women (5.2 hours).

Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time, accounting for more than half of leisure time, on average. Men spent 3 hours per day watching TV, while women spent 2.6 hours. Socializing, such as visiting with friends or attending or hosting social events, was the next most common leisure activity, accounting for 0.7 hours per day for both men and women.

Average hours per day spent in leisure and sports activities by gender, 2014 annual averages
Gender Watching TV Socializing and communicating Playing games and using computers for leisure Participating in sports, exercise and recreation Reading Relaxing/thinking Other leisure and sports activities, including travel

Men

3.0 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.5

Women

2.6 0.7 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.4

On average, adults age 75 and over spent 8.0 hours per day engaged in leisure activities—more than any other age group; 35- to 44-year-olds spent 4.1 hours engaged in leisure and sports activities—less than other age groups.

Average hours per day spent in leisure and sports activities by age, 2014 annual averages
Age Watching TV Socializing and communicating Playing games and using  computers for leisure Participating in sports, exercise and recreation Reading Relaxing/thinking Other leisure and sports activities, including travel

15 to 19 years

2.4 0.8 0.9 0.6 0.1 0.2 0.7

20 to 24 years

2.5 0.9 0.8 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.5

25 to 34 years

2.0 0.8 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.4

35 to 44 years

2.2 0.6 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.4

45 to 54 years

2.7 0.7 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.4

55 to 64 years

3.3 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.4

65 to 74 years

4.0 0.7 0.5 0.3 0.6 0.4 0.5

75 years and over

4.5 0.7 0.5 0.2 1.1 0.7 0.4

Time spent reading for personal interest and playing games or using a computer for leisure varied greatly by age. Individuals age 75 and over averaged 1.1 hours of reading per day and 0.5 hours playing games or using a computer for leisure. Individuals ages 15 to 19 read for an average of 0.1 hours per day and spent 0.9 hours playing games or using a computer for leisure.

Average leisure time also varied widely among persons with different educational attainment. Those with bachelor’s degrees or higher watched 2.1 hours of TV per day. Those with less than a high school diploma watched 3.9 hours of TV per day. The second most common leisure activity for those without high school diplomas was relaxing/thinking. They spent an average of 0.8 hours per day on this activity, compared with 0.2 hours per day for those with a bachelor's degree or higher.

Average hours per day spent in leisure and sports activities by educational attainment, ages 25 and older, 2014 annual averages
Education Watching TV Socializing and communicating Playing games and using computers for leisure Participating in sports, exercise and recreation Reading Relaxing/thinking Other leisure and sports activities, including travel

Less than a high school diploma

3.9 0.6 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.8 0.3

High school graduates, no college

3.5 0.7 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.4

Some college or associate degree

2.8 0.7 0.4 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.4

Bachelor's degree and higher

2.1 0.7 0.4 0.3 0.5 0.2 0.4

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. For more information, see "American Time Use Survey — 2014 Results" (HTML) (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Time spent in leisure activities in 2014, by gender, age, and educational attainment on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/time-spent-in-leisure-activities-in-2014-by-gender-age-and-educational-attainment.htm (visited August 29, 2016).

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