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Exploring time spent on cooking, reading, and other activities for National Hobby Month

January 29, 2024

It’s a new year and picking up a new hobby or devoting more time to an existing one is a common resolution. Let’s take a look at the time spent on a variety of hobbies.

For some, cooking is simply a necessity, but for others, it’s a hobby. Among people 15 and older in the United States, 57.2 percent spent time preparing food and drink on an average day in 2022. The amount of time they spent averaged just under an hour per day (53 minutes).

Percent of population engaging in activity on an average day and average hours spent per day among those engaging in activity, all days of the week, 2022 annual averages
Activity Percent of the population Average hours per day

Watching TV

76.5 3.65

Food and drink preparation

57.2 0.88

Socializing and communicating

28.7 1.95

Relaxing and thinking

21.6 1.64

Participating in sports, exercise, and recreation

20.1 1.44

Reading for personal interest

16.7 1.58

Playing games

14.4 2.59

Computer use for leisure, excluding games

13.5 1.48

Lawn and garden care

9.0 2.01

Walking, exercising, and playing with animals

8.6 0.86


7.8 0.91

Volunteer activities

4.2 2.33

Arts and entertainment (other than sports)

2.3 3.08

Attending sporting or recreational events

0.9 3.17

On an average day, 9 percent of people engaged in lawn and garden care — another activity that while sometimes a chore, is often a hobby as well. On days they worked on the lawn and garden, they did so for an average of 2 hours.

Several hobbies involve participating in sports, exercise, and recreation. On any given day, 20.1 percent of people engaged in these activities, participating for an average of 1.4 hours. The 7.8 percent of people that walked for exercise on an average day did so for 55 minutes.

Walking, exercising, and playing with animals are activities 8.6 percent of people participated in on an average day, and they spent 52 minutes engaging in these animal-centered activities. Reading was done by 16.7 percent of people, for 1.6 hours on days they read.

Games are played by 14.4 percent of people on any given day, for an average of 2.6 hours. It’s not only National Hobby Month, but also National Puzzle Day. Play games and puzzles from BLS!

These data are from the American Time Use Survey. For more information, see “American Time Use Survey — 2022 Results.” We also have more charts on American Time Use Survey data.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Exploring time spent on cooking, reading, and other activities for National Hobby Month at (visited May 19, 2024).

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