How The Average American Adult Spends 24 Hours Each Day

Tyler Durden's picture

It may come as a surprise to some that when distributed across all American adults (15+, male and female), including weekends, the average American spent just 3.57 hours out of every 24 on work and work-related activities in 2011, according to the BLS' American Time Survey. The number one time consuming activity? Sleep, at 8.71 hours (an all time high for the series), followed by Leisure and Sports with 5.21 hours in second place. The balance of the 6.51 hours remaining? 1.77 hours for Household Activities, 1.24 for Eating and Drinking, and so on, until we hit less than half an hour (0.47 hours) spent on education activities. At least the average time spent on telephone calls, mail and email is not more than the amount of time Americans spend edumacating themselves.

Americans may be working less, but at least they are sleeping more than ever.

Of course, the above does not mean that the average working American's day job lasts only from 9am until 12:45pm. Once again, this is simply an averaging across all Americans, including that half that does no paid work, as well as those who do part-time work while factoring weekend time off. With work an ever more sensitive topic for everyone from Obama to the Fed, this is how the BLS breakdown the hourly workload data:

  • On days that they worked, employed persons spent an average of 7.6 hours working. More hours were worked, on average, on weekdays than on weekend days—8.0 hours compared with 5.7 hours.
  • On the days that they worked, employed men worked 47 minutes more than employed women. This difference partly reflects women's greater likelihood of working part time. However, even among full-time workers (those usually working 35 hours or more per week), men worked longer than women—8.3 hours compared with 7.8 hours.
  • Many more persons worked on weekdays than on weekend days: 82 percent of employed persons worked on an average weekday, compared with 35 percent on an average weekend day. These estimates include individuals who worked on days they were not normally scheduled to work. For example, the 35 percent of workers who worked on a weekend day includes those whose jobs are typically scheduled on weekends, as well as those who usually work on weekdays but spent time working on the weekend.
  • On the days that they worked, 21 percent of employed persons did some or all of their work at home, and 85 percent did some or all of their work at their workplace. Men and women were about equally likely to do some or all of their work at home.
  • Multiple jobholders were more likely to work on an average weekend day than were single jobholders—57 percent compared with 33 percent. Multiple jobholders were also more likely to work at home than single jobholders—31 percent compared with 20 percent.
  • Self-employed workers were three times more likely than wage and salary workers to have done some work at home on days worked—56 percent compared with 18 percent.
  • On the days that they worked, 36 percent of employed persons age 25 and over with a bachelor's degree or higher did some work at home, compared with only 11 percent of those with less than a high school diploma.

Sure they did: how else are they going to pay off those tens of thousands in college loans.

Select additional data in chart format:

Percent of population who worked on weekdays and weekend days

Percent of employed persons who worked at home on an average day

Percent of employed persons who worked at home on an average day, by education level

Percent of employed persons who did selected activities on workdays by hour of day


So less work more sleep: with increasing automation, an ever older population and an economy that is still mired in a deep depression only masked by the global central planners' attempts at reflating asset prices and generating a "confidence boosting" wealth effect for some, and welfare for others, the this is hardly surprising.

However, perhaps what is most interesting, and what is best known by a regime whose survivial depends on preserving confidence in the system, is that as a result of all of the above, the amount of time spent by Americans and by the entire developed, if insolvent, world in front of the TV, is now at an all time high. Here is Goldman's take on this phenomenon:

From a media perspective, older demographics watch more TV but advertisers are keener on younger audiences – in particular young males with disposable incomes. We believe that this could change, as older demographics are more tech savvy and engage with social media and innovations such as second screen applications. As targeted advertising becomes more widespread, advertisers may come to value older demographics more. BSkyB is in the process of implementing Ad-Smart, a targeted advertising service which marries subscriber data with bought-in public records and credit data. This should allow advertisers to serve different commercials to individual households.

There's that. And there is also the much simpler question of pure propaganda blasting at everyone 24/7 on some 1000 cable channels.

So that takes care of the "circuses". As for the "bread"? Well, as we learned earlier, eat moar insects.


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Lost Wages's picture

We are making up for all the sleep we lost in college when we were racking up those student loans & pulling all-nighters for art history exams.

The Heart's picture

Not to forget that in most socialist collages these days they teach a class called, Who Gives a Fish 202, and the prerequisite, Beer Drinking 101 in which the higher education consists of thinking there is some kind of future for those who religiously weekly practice regurgitory-drinking, and not caring about anything. Yeah, it's called a Ph D in Carelessology from Who Gives a Flock U.

TeamDepends's picture

Yep, "socialist collage" pretty much sums it up.

Say What Again's picture

They state that eating & drinking only accounts for 1.24 % of the time.

The report is flawed -- Dead Giveaway!!!

boogerbently's picture

Thenext bubble to burst, the "chart" bubble.

TwoShortPlanks's picture

It's more like; Social Media 35%, Sleeping 30%, Eating 10%, Talking Shit 10%, Taking A Dump 5%.

Has anyone actually watched people, honestly? I have/do, and the average fucktard wanker is literally GLUED to their iPrison.

Q: How do you fix the global economy?

A: Remove Social Media...liquidate Gen-Y

Debt-Penitent's picture

This story had me nodding in agreeance until the TV wathing-time chart.  It's mostly BS...and going up?

Graph's picture

FYI, before you run your smart smirk, former Socialist Countries in Europe had superbly educated people. Communists had one nasty habit: before they take money from coal miner and steel worker to educate somebody's ass they make sure that that ass belongs to that particular college. No open check book by rich daddy or "athletic skills" to get you there.

Disclaimer: Not in defense of Socialism just to set the record straight

 For sixty or so years Elite made you occupied with Russia, Socialism, Communism while they, like Las Vegas magician, run "White Glove" engineering of 2008. Like fucking deer in the headlights the best that you can come up with is "It's all communists/socialists fault". Think!


walküre's picture

As a whole, Americans will never match the level of sophistication most Eastern Europeans including Russians had developed under the guise of communism. Great thinkers, great engineers and scientists, great musicians, writers and actors and athletes. Communism took care of everything basic, and the individual had time to develop their skills. State subsidized theater, concerts and opera made the personal cultural enrichment accessible and available to all. Of course there was propaganda but not the kind that broadcasts bullshit by degenerates 24/7 into the minds and hearts of Americans today.

Graph's picture

Sixty or so years long story of communism in America:

Elite to six pack Joe: "Listen, we are going to gang rape your wife and all thre daughters...because we suspect that they are communists!"

Six pack (after initial shock): Oh...well, I guess it's ok...go ahead."

Elite again: "We see that you got some healthy and strong boys ...we may need them to fight communism."

Six pack: " problem."

The end.


TeamDepends's picture

Comrade, believe what you want/what they tell you.  You always do! 

Graph's picture

A free thinker?

Before writing a "Comrade" check my disclaimer @ post above.

 Did you check yourself for pavlovian drool or possibly compulsive obsessive disorder diagnosis when it comes to word "Socialism" - which I suspect is what THEY told you while robbing you blind. Or maybe you are the one robbing?



TeamDepends's picture

You underestimate Joe Six Pack.

Koba's picture

 The United States should not, and hopefully will never, reach that level of "sophistication".  Much of the truly groundbreaking work was done by gentlemen scientists.  People who had to work one job and hone their craft in their personal time.  

Like most of Europe, the Soviet Union produced lots of people who know great deal about many things, but almost nothing about how to actually do things.  The United States' strength is that it produces people who know how to put all of that knowledge to use.  

Most people from the former Soviet Union can easily quote Pushkin and almost no Americans are aware of the name Pushkin, yet Russians are paying top dollar to learn English, purchase Apple and other American products, become educated at a university in American or work for an American company.

I gladly prefer doers over sophisticants. 

redpill's picture

Where's the pie piece for "cussing at politicians and taking shots in ZH drinking contests"

Chupacabra-322's picture

What?  No pie piece for Criminal Homosexual "in the closet" and pedophilia sex by Criminal Politicians.   

NotApplicable's picture

That's in the educational wedge.

Of course, said behavior may be seen as raycisss.

Son of Loki's picture

"Specifically, the survey revealed 64 percent of employees visit non-work related websites every day at work. Of that group, 39 percent spend one hour or less per week, 29 percent spend 2 hours per week, 21 percent waste five hours per week, and only 3 percent said they waste 10 hours or more doing unrelated activities."


Underestimate imo.

MilleniumJane's picture

Possibly.  I spend 5 minutes every day just to look at CNN and see what's happening.  ZH and all the rest are for home only.  My bosses can stuff it as far as I'm concerned.  Even if they said something, I haven't had a friggin' pay raise in over 4 years, so I consider this to be part of my compensation package.  25 minutes a week ain't gonna kill them, considering I never take a lunch break anyway.

Prometheus418's picture

That may be the lamest "stuff it" I've ever heard.  No, seriously.

To be fair, about 95% of the time, I'm in the less than one hour demographic, because I have a lot of things to do.  But every once in a while, on the rare occasions when I catch up, I get other shit done on the clock.  And, I not only take my lunch- but also the other two 15 min. breaks everyone else gets.

I think you need a nice RDP on your home machine- here's what you need.  If you have Win 7, enable multiple concurrent logins on both your home and work boxes, set up a "remote" profile, then get an anonymous account with a free domain server that will accomodate your (likely) floating IP address.  Set your home router to update the domain server when it aquires a new address, and open a tunnel to your home machine (which must have a fixed local IP)  Use your domain as a target for your RDP connection.  When you're at work, RDP tunnel to your home machine and use the terminal to do whatever you want- they can see the RDP tunnel to your domain, but no specific traffic.  This not only bypasses any work server firewalls, but it also masks your specific activity.  If you have to justify it (and I never have) you could theoretically say you were working at home the night before, and needed to grab the files from your home machine.  The port can't be closed, because any travelling execs need to use RDP on the road, and changing the default port is more than most sysadmins are willing to do.

Sadly, the very fact that I spent time working that out means that any "non-work" stuff I'm looking at generally ends up benefiting the company anyway.  But what can I say, geeks look at geek shit.  If you follow the last paragraph, you can use it for whatever you want- and it sounds like in your case, you probably should.  I spend more time on smoking cigarettes and shooting rubber bands at the other two nerds in my office on the boss's dime every day with his blessing than you spend looking at CNN every week, and that makes your position sound pretty bleak.

Wile-E-Coyote's picture

More sleep is great but the problem is you wake into a real fucking nightmare.

samcontrol's picture

from that i get that half the couples cheat on each other..
my computer works funny.

maskone909's picture

How the fuck did they come up with that bullshit?

francis_sawyer's picture

Where's the 'slice' which represents how much time is spent sucking the dicks of 'CHEESEPOPES'?...


Oh ~ I get it... That particular graphic must be the stuff of '3-D' holographic pie graphs [which is a geometric graph ONLY taught in 'homeschooling' environments & otherwise vehemently rejected in NBA worshipping homesteads]...

Edit: Buncha 'JUNKS', already, [by the CHEESEPOPEDICK SUCKING crowd ~ I imagine]... Yeah ~ I guess you're right... But OTOH, there's not much of a 'time slice' towards  'PRAYING' [to the 'MONEY~GRUBBING God either]... Perhaps then, the ABSENCE should be excused...

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Using the same means with which they will declare an extended work day or week:  Your dollar.

ihedgemyhedges's picture

Average time spent having sex in my house is 0.0 minutes and that's the way my wife of 19 years likes it. Now if my kids are doing something I don't know about then that average could be higher.....

Rainman's picture

....the kids are always doing something I don't know about and I'm better off for it.

SilverIsKing's picture

Wouldn't that be 0.0 minutes for those hours you are at home?  What about when you're out of the house?

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Oh you're so funny! Mr miffed told me that there is this condition men get called " blue balls" that would occur if they didn't get sex every few days. It sounded absolutely horrible so for thirty years I have assiduous taken on the quest to prevent this malady. He's been eternally grateful. Perhaps you failed to explain this to your wife? I'm sure your days of misery are at an end!


redpill's picture

Simple.  They come up with a stupid survey with a laughably thin sample, goal seek the results, and barf the output into some white paper as an excuse to have a bunch of overpaid leeches on staff answering questions that no one ever fucking asked and spending our future generations into ever deeper debt slavery.  Care for another drink?

zerozulu's picture

So you mean Tylers Durdens asking questions to each others?

samcontrol's picture

they have come up with bigger bullshit.

FL_Conservative's picture

Where is the option for trying to stay off the grid and out of the IRS dragnet?

NotApplicable's picture

Other Personal Care Activities.

Dr Benway's picture

I assumed that was a euphemism for masturbation

algol_dog's picture

What about porn watching?

Frastric's picture

Or masturbating for that matter? Years of porn, unrealistic expectations and dreary relationships mean self-servicing is the only way now...

i-dog's picture

At least it's having sex with someone you love.

FL_Conservative's picture

That was on the SEC employee distribution.

NotApplicable's picture

Which was why the hours worked is skewed so high.

Papasmurf's picture

In order to be politically correct, porn was catagorized under "leisure" and masturbation under "exercise". 

1000yrdstare's picture

Where is reloading on that chart?

Frastric's picture

Notice how the sheeple sleep more easily during crisis periods. Whatever drugs the US government is putting into the water supply, or mind-control techniques its using, they're doing the job.

Sleep my little sheep, sleep... Big O will look after you...

Overfed's picture

Where's the big pie slice labelled "Reading Zerohedge"?

McMolotov's picture

ZH falls under leisure, educational, and drinking.

1C3-N1N3's picture

"Other personal care activities" = fapping

Also, the work vs. sleep graph is clearly a swastika.

Seize Mars's picture

Yeah where is the WankMetric? Mine is huge. Time allocation, I mean.