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Men spent 5.6 hours per day in leisure and sports activities, women 4.9 hours, in 2021

August 22, 2022

On an average day in 2021, people age 15 and older spent 5.3 hours per day in leisure and sports activities, such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising. Men spent more time in leisure and sports activities (5.6 hours) than did women (4.9 hours). (These averages include people who did these activities and those who did not.)

Average hours per day spent in leisure and sports activities, by sex, 2021 annual averages
Activity Both sexes Men Women

Total, all leisure and sports activities

5.27 5.61 4.94

Watching TV

2.86 3.04 2.69

Socializing and communicating

0.57 0.52 0.61

Playing games and using computers for leisure

0.56 0.69 0.43

Relaxing and thinking

0.34 0.35 0.34

Other leisure and sports activities, including travel

0.34 0.39 0.31

Participating in sports, exercise, and recreation

0.32 0.40 0.24

Reading

0.28 0.23 0.32

Watching TV was the leisure and sport activity that occupied the most time, accounting for just over half of all leisure time, on average. Men spent 3.0 hours per day watching TV, while women spent 2.7 hours. The next most common leisure and sports activities were socializing and communicating, such as visiting friends or attending or hosting social events, and playing games and using a computer for leisure. Each activity accounted for 34 minutes on an average day.

People age 75 and older spent 7.7 hours in leisure and sports activities on an average day—more than any other age group. People ages 35 to 44 spent 3.9 hours in leisure and sports activities per day—less than other age groups.

Time spent reading for personal interest and playing games and using a computer for leisure varied greatly by age. People age 75 and older averaged 41 minutes of reading per day and 30 minutes per day playing games and using a computer for leisure. People ages 15 to 24 read for an average of 10 minutes or less per day and spent an hour or more per day playing games and using a computer for leisure.

Average hours per day spent in leisure and sports activities, by age, 2021 annual averages
Age Watching TV Socializing and communicating Playing games and using computers for leisure Other leisure and sports activities, including travel Relaxing and thinking Participating in sports, exercise, and recreation Reading

15 to 19 years

1.96 0.70 1.44 0.50 0.32 0.66 0.16

20 to 24 years

2.02 0.65 1.05 0.54 0.20 0.30 0.15

25 to 34 years

2.16 0.55 0.71 0.34 0.24 0.36 0.13

35 to 44 years

2.09 0.57 0.32 0.26 0.27 0.27 0.15

45 to 54 years

2.55 0.56 0.28 0.27 0.34 0.26 0.26

55 to 64 years

3.33 0.58 0.33 0.29 0.38 0.24 0.29

65 to 74 years

4.30 0.50 0.44 0.38 0.46 0.31 0.49

75 years and older

4.80 0.51 0.50 0.40 0.57 0.26 0.69

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. For more information, see “American Time Use Survey — 2021 Results.” We also have more charts on American Time Use Survey data.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Men spent 5.6 hours per day in leisure and sports activities, women 4.9 hours, in 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/men-spent-5-6-hours-per-day-in-leisure-and-sports-activities-women-4-9-hours-in-2021.htm (visited November 28, 2022).

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