Six hours of free time a day

What do Dutch people aged over 12 years do with their time? Out of the total 24 hours a day, ten hours are spent on sleeping, personal hygiene and eating; six hours on free time activities, and about three hours are used for care of others, housework and volunteer work. Paid labour accounts for two and three-quarter hours, travelling to and from work, education and the shops takes up nearly an hour a day.

Time use per 24 hours

Men and women: differences in time use

Men spend their time differently than women. Men spend more time on paid work. Women devote two and three- quarter hours a day to household chores: shopping, cooking and cleaning, while men only spend one hour on these activities.

Women also spend more time caring for others. Men spend more of their time on repairs, maintenance and gardening than women. Men also spend one quarter more time than women on organised volunteer work.

Free time

In the end, men have six hours and women five and three-quarter hours of free time every twenty-four hours. Much of this spare time, an average two hours a day, is spent on watching TV or a video. Contacts with family, friends and acquaintances accounts for one and a half hours. Another half an hour is spent on games, playing a musical instrument, acting and other hobbies. Half an hour is also spent on doing nothing or lounging about. Less than this is spent per day on eating and drinking out, and on sports.

Henk Hendriks