What American People Do on Workdays [Infographic]

It’s kind of sad that working and sleeping takes most of our time, while taking care of elders and children is way down the list. Everyone likes to blame the education system for the troubles we have with our kids, but overworked parents are often the problem… at least that’s what I think. Thoughts?

The figures come from the American Time Use Survey, which is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers are, of course, averages. So parents may spend much more time, say, caring for children, while people without children will spend no time at all.

[Source: NPR | Via]

7 Responses to What American People Do on Workdays [Infographic]

  1. “It’s kind of sad that working and sleeping takes most of our time, while taking care of elders and children is way down the list.”

    I don’t think this is quite the problem you’re making it out to be. For one thing, while I’ve not seen the methodology of the study, I strongly suspect that, for those who take care of children or the elderly professionally (teachers, daycare providers, nursing care professionals, etc.), that time is counted as work.

    For another, children — and many elderly — aren’t really that high maintenance. My parents, who are in their 80s, are quite self-sufficient. My children of 10 and 7 years can see to themselves pretty well — even while out of school, they go to the park, the library, roller skate, take care of the pets, read, do art projects; I may go along with them on this sometimes but it’s optional. The only real “care” they need from me on a daily basis is my making dinner; I’ll sometimes make them pancakes for breakfast, but they’re quite capable of making themselves a bowl of cereal or a sandwich.

  2. I have no idea how people spend 33 minutes per day on shopping? Maybe it's USA thing, but most of my time everyday i spend about 5 mins for groceries and about half hour in the supermarket one day a week. And when every 6 months I go to buy some clothes and similar necessities i spend about 2 hours at most.

  3. This would seem to be an average of several demographics. And what day of the week are we talking about? Let's consider my Friday:
    Sleeping: 7 hours
    Working and Commuting: 6.5 hours
    Education/Studying: 4.5 hours
    Leisure: 2 hours
    Exercise: 1 hour
    Communication: 1 hour
    Eating: 1 hour
    Cooking/Cleaning: 30 minutes
    Grooming: 20 minutes
    Caring for Children/Elderly: 0 minutes

    Being in college, I don't have to take care of kids at all. Let's look at how drastically things change when we look at this Thursday, and then my projection for Saturday.

    Sleeping: 8 hours
    Education/Studying: 6 hours
    Cooking/Cleaning: 3.5 hours
    Socializing/Communicating: 3 hours
    Eating: 1 hour
    Exercise: 1 hour
    Commuting: 1 hour
    Grooming: 30 minutes
    Working: 0 hours

    Sleep: 10 hours
    Socializing: 7 hours
    Education/Studying: 1 hour
    Eating: 2 hour
    Exercise: 1 hour
    Commute: 1 hour
    Cooking: 1 hour
    Grooming: 30 minutes
    Working: 0 hours
    Caring for children/elderly: 30 minutes

    My point being is that you can't average the daily uses of time that everybody submits and paint any sort of reasonable picture of what the "average" person does in a day.

    • While I understand the point that you're making, it does specify "workday," and to the average white/blue collar American, "workday" is still Monday through Friday, so your "Saturday" experiences are tossed out.

  4. Maybe if the cost of living and wage weren't so out of wack for many people, it wouldn't be the same percentages. A family with two parents both working full time at minimum wage jobs can still fall below the poverty level. Many parents now have to work multiple jobs to keep rent paid and food on the table. For many, working is how you take care of your children.

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