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Time spent in leisure and sports activities increased by 32 minutes per day in 2020

October 01, 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, people age 15 and older spent 32 minutes more per day in leisure and sports activities than they did in 2019—5.5 hours compared with 5.0 hours. This increase partly reflects a decline in average work time as the share of the population that was employed fell during the pandemic. The increase in leisure and sports activities also reflects a decrease in the average time people spent traveling.

Average hours per day spent in leisure and sports activities, all days of the week, May to December, 2019 and 2020
Activity 2019 2020

Total, all leisure and sports activities

4.99 5.53

Watching TV

2.74 3.05

Playing games and computer use for leisure

0.45 0.62

Socializing and communicating

0.66 0.54

Relaxing and thinking

0.33 0.44

Participating in sports, exercise, and recreation

0.32 0.37

Reading

0.28 0.34

Other leisure and sports activities

0.21 0.16

Watching television was the leisure activity that occupied the most time in 2020, 3.1 hours per day, accounting for just over half of all leisure time on an average day. People age 15 and older spent 19 minutes more per day watching TV than they did in 2019.

Time spent playing games and using a computer for leisure increased by 10 minutes per day. Time spent relaxing and thinking increased an average of 7 minutes per day in 2020. Time spent socializing and communicating in person declined by an average of 7 minutes per day.

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. For more information, see “American Time Use Survey — May to December 2019 and 2020 Results.”

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Time spent in leisure and sports activities increased by 32 minutes per day in 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/time-spent-in-leisure-and-sports-activities-increased-by-32-minutes-per-day-in-2020.htm (visited October 16, 2021).

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