A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported on a study about how Americans spend their time during the day. The results come from a representative sample (small number of people chosen randomly, but who represent the general population) of Americans age 15 or older. This means that there may be no single American who actually spends his or her time exactly this way each day, since it is just an average for the group. Still, it gives you a rough (approximate; general) idea about the relative (considered in relation to something else) importance of different activities for the “typical” person living in the United States.
Here are some of the categories, from most time to least:
* Sleeping: 8 hours, 40 minutes
* Working or work-related activities: 3 hours, 32 minutes
* Watching television: 2 hours, 49 minutes
* Leisure (relaxing) and sports activities (excluding (not including) watching TV): 2 hours, 26 minutes
* Household activities (cleaning, etc.): 1 hour, 48 minutes
* Eating and drinking: 1 hour, 13 minutes
* Personal care (such as showering, getting dressed, putting on make-up): 47 minutes
* Buying things: 46 minutes
* Education (could be professional reading, attending classes, listening to ESL Podcast): 28 minutes
* Caring for household (people who live at your house) members (such as young children or babies): 32 minutes
* Organizational, civic (community), and religious activities: 20 minutes
* Caring for non-household members (such as elderly parents): 13 minutes
* Telephone calls, mail, and email: 12 minutes
Some of these times are almost certainly averaged out across (dividing into the different parts of) the week. For example, if you spend 2 hours and 20 minutes volunteering for a religious organization or community group, that would average out to (result in a statistical “mean” or average amount of) 20 minutes a day, even if you did all of your volunteering on a single day of the weekend.