We sleep and rest 9 hours per day
Sleep and rest are the activities occupying the most of our lives. On average, we do this for just over 9 hours per day, or almost 38% of our time.
Work is central in many people’s lives, yet on average we only work just over 2 hours per day (paid work), less than 10% of our time.
It may feel different but the share of free time is almost double: we spend four hours per day, e.g. on sports, hobbies, TV and social media.
Of course, there are large differences between individuals and we spend our time very differently on a weekday than in the weekend.
|Day of the week||Weekdays||Saturday||Sunday|
|Duration per respondent (h/day)||Duration per participant (h/day)||Participation rate||Duration per respondent (h/day)||Duration per participant (h/day)||Participation rate||Duration per respondent (h/day)||Duration per participant (h/day)||Participation rate|
|Paid work||02:44||07:21||37.2 %||00:47||06:06||12.8 %||00:25||04:53||8.5 %|
|Household work||02:29||02:53||86.0 %||03:01||03:25||88.3 %||02:18||02:42||85.1 %|
|Childcare and raising children||00:22||01:32||23.6 %||00:20||01:47||18.8 %||00:21||01:45||19.6 %|
|Personal care||02:23||02:23||100.0 %||02:38||02:38||100.0 %||02:35||02:35||100.0 %|
|Sleep and rest||08:48||08:48||100.0 %||09:14||09:14||100.0 %||10:08||10:08||100.0 %|
|Education||00:50||06:02||13.6 %||00:18||03:46||7.8 %||00:18||03:25||8.6 %|
|Social participation||01:15||01:47||69.4 %||02:02||02:38||77.1 %||01:53||02:24||78.8 %|
|Free time||03:46||03:58||94.9 %||04:21||04:37||94.3 %||04:59||05:09||96.9 %|
|Transportation||01:18||01:29||87.4 %||01:15||01:28||84.4 %||00:59||01:20||74.5 %|
|Other||00:05||00:39||12.4 %||00:05||00:45||11.2 %||00:05||00:39||12.0 %|
Time use survey (TUS)
Purpose and brief description
The time use survey tries to sketch an as precise picture as possible about the every-day activities of people. In a time use survey, the respondents are asked to record all their activities and their times. Furthermore, additional information about the activities is also asked, such as with whom and where the respondent was.The time use survey tries to sketch an as precise picture as possible about the every-day activities of people. In a time use survey, the respondents are asked to record all their activities and their times. Furthermore, additional information about the activities is also asked, such as with whom and where the respondent was.
Statbel carried out this survey in 1999, 2005 and 2013.
Members of private households where at least one person is in the age group 15-76. Only individuals aged 10 or older are interviewed.
Demographic data from the National Register.
Data collection method
In the past, households were visited by an interviewer who gave them instructions about the survey. The members of the household were asked to record their activities in a diary during 2 specific days (one weekday and one weekend day).
In the next survey, the data will be collected via a digital platform, composed of a web application and a smartphone application. The fieldwork period is not yet known.
In 1999, 8,382 respondents aged 12 or older from 4,275 households registered their time use for two days. In 2005, there were 6,400 respondents aged 12 or older from 3,474 households. Finally, there were 5,559 respondents aged 10 or older from 2,744 households in 2013.
The response rate amounted to 22.1% in 2013.
From 2030 onwards, this survey will be part of the IESS (Integrated European Social Statistics) and will be organised every 10 years for Eurostat.
The results are available at the latest 15 months after the end of the data collection. The most recent results are those of 2013.
A household consists either of a single person, usually living alone, or of two or more persons who, whether or not related to one another by kinship, usually live in one and the same dwelling and live there together.
The most common way to present time use data is by using three parameters:
- The duration per respondent (dpr.): this is the average time spent on a given activity in a given period, calculated for all participants to the research (respondents).this is the average time spent on a given activity in a given period, calculated for all participants to the research (respondents).
- The participation rate (part.): this is the percentage of respondents who performed a given activity in a given time span.
- The duration per participant (dpp.): this is the average time spent on a given activity in a given time span, calculated for all participants to the activity.
The given period is always a registration day (24h).
These three parameters are not independent of each other. The duration per respondent is the product of the duration per participant and the participation rate (number between 0 and 1 expressed as a percentage):
Duration per respondent = duration per participant x participation rate
This rule holds as far as one looks at the parameters for the registration days (Monday to Sunday) separately, but does not hold for the constructed average weekday and weekend day because we only have the registration of one particular weekday and one particular weekend day per respondent.
The parameters for the average weekday and the average weekend day are estimates, taking into account the number of respondents who filled in a particular day for Monday to Friday for the average weekday and for Saturday and Sunday for the average weekend day, respectively. A weighting procedure minimises the deviation in the relationship between duration per respondent, participation rate and duration per participant.
An example could help to interpret the results:
In a weekday the respondents spent on average 2 h 44 on the activity 'work' (=duration per respondent).
However, not all participants to the survey worked on the weekdays they kept their diaries. 37.2% of respondents effectively performed the activity 'work' on the recorded weekdays (= participation rate).
Respondents who effectively worked on the recorded weekdays spent an average of 7 h 21 on the activity 'work' on a weekday (= duration per participant).
Duration per respondent = duration per participant x participation rate
2H44’ = 7h21’ x 37.2%
Eurostat provides guidelines to carry out the time use survey. They are available here.
Reports and articles
Technical report of the 2013 Belgian Time-Use Survey
SourceTM in opdracht van EUROSTAT
SOURCE™ (Software Outreach and Redefinition to Collect E-data through MOTUS) is a project coordinated by Statbel in collaboration with Destatis (the national statistical institute of Germany – das Statistische Bundesamt) and the VUB (de Vrije Universiteit Brussel), with financial support of Eurostat.
- Final report User Guide MOTUS
- Final report Speech Recognition
- Final report Poster 2
- Final report Poster 1
- Final report MOTUS Governance Model
- Final report Main document
- Final report Leaflet
- Final report Individual Questionnaire ENG.csv
- Final report Household Questionnaire ENG.csv
- Final report Evaluation Questionnaire ENG
- Final report End Questionnaire_ENG.csv
- Final report Description E-HBS TUS Belgium Germany