There was a news item today about the American Time Use Survey, and how the Bush Administration has no time — or rather, money — for it any more. This is an annual study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that breaks down how Americans spend every bit of their time, and is considered useful for observing the effects of economic policies on ordinary people.
The 2006 survey (the most recent for which data are available) found that on an “average day,” people over the age of 15 slept about 8.6 hours, spent 5.1 hours doing leisure and sports activities, worked for 3.8 hours, and spent 1.8 hours doing household activities. The remaining 4.7 hours were spent doing a variety of other activities, including eating and drinking, attending school, and shopping… People over 75 years old averaged 1.4 hours of reading per weekend day and 12 minutes playing games or using a computer for leisure. Conversely, individuals ages 15 to 19 read for an average of seven minutes per weekend day and spent one hour playing games or using a computer.
Frankly I’m now feeling rather deprived. I would love to sleep 8.6 hours a day! (Don’t these people have jobs?!)