How The Average American Spends Their Day |

The American Time Use Survey collects information about the activities people do during the day and how much time they spend doing them.

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American Time Use

Americans claim to be busier than ever and invest a plethora of money in technology to make their lives more efficient. However, according to the data illustrated in these charts, the majority of Americans appear to be spending sufficient time sleeping and enjoying leisure activities. Additionally, those technological advances are utilized for socializing as often as for improving efficiencies.

The Average Employed American’s Weekday

The first chart illustrates how the average employed American spends a weekday. At just under nine hours, the majority of the day is spent sleeping and attending to personal care. Surprisingly, work accounts for just 5.75 hours of the average workday. Slightly more than 3.6 hours are spent on leisure and sports with television watching accounting for two of those hours. Time devoted to caring for household members, primarily children, totals just under 1.7 hours. Other household activities, including food preparation and lawn care consume nearly 1.5 hours. Enjoying that food requires almost 1.2 hours each day. A variety of other activities, including shopping and attending religious activities occupy the remainder of the day.

Women Aged 35-44

At nearly 9.5 hours, the vast majority of women’s time is devoted to beauty sleep. Women spend 4 hours on average participating in leisure and sports activities. Nearly 3.8 hours are spent working outside of the home while approximately 2.8 hours are devoted to working on household activities.

Men Aged 35-44

Apparently, men need almost as much beauty sleep as their female counterparts, getting 8.9 hours of shuteye each night. On average, men spend slightly more than 6.1 hours each day working. At more than 4.3 hours each day, men spend more time on leisure and sports than women do. Men devote just 1.3 hours each day to household activities.

Teenagers 15-19 Years Old

Unsurprisingly, teenagers spend the overwhelming majority of their time getting shuteye. At just under 10.4 hours, teenagers spend nearly half their days in dreamland. That’s understandable, considering the 5.7 hours they spend on educational activities each day. Another 3.1 hours are devoted to sports and leisure. In addition to their schooling, teenagers spend nearly 1.4 hours working. To the chagrin of parents everywhere, a mere 0.67 hours are devoted to household activities.

Contrary to popular belief, the data presented by the Labor Department illustrates the average American is getting sufficient rest. Nearly 12.5 hours each day are devoted to sleep and leisure activities, though the average is skewed by teenagers who need extra sleep for their growing bodies. Also somewhat surprising is the fact that adults spend fewer than 8 hours a day working.