Chart showing how Americans spend their time

How Do Americans Spend Their Time?

Understanding your target audience’s preferences and habits paves the way for a more personalized ecommerce sales and marketing strategy. It helps you reach them where they are and speak in a language that resonates with them.

If your target buyers are located in the United States, you’ll need to know much more than their average yearly expenses or when they shop online. Here’s a look at how Americans spend their time every day.

How do Americans spend their time every day: top activities

According to the American time-use survey by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the activity that takes up the most amount of time is personal care. The average American spends 9.78 hours per day (or nine hours and 47 minutes) on personal care, which includes sleeping, grooming, and other health-related self-care activities. It’s worth noting that women spend around half an hour more on personal care every day than men. 

Second on the list charting how Americans spend their day is leisure and sports. On average, US consumers spend 5.2 hours (five hours and 12 minutes) a day on this category—whether that’s socializing, watching television, exercising, or other related activities. Unlike personal care activities, men spend more time (around 45 minutes) on leisure and sports than women.

This is followed by working and work-related activities, at 3.5 hours per day. The difference in time spent on this category between men and women is significant. The American time-use survey results show that men spend 4.12 hours a day on work or work-related activities, one hour and 13 minutes more than the 2.9 hours women spend. 

Household activities like doing chores around the house, cooking, and caring for the garden are also on the list ranking how Americans spend their time—nearly two hours are spent on them every day.

Eating and drinking take up 1.23 hours a day for the average American. This includes eating and drinking at home and dining out, be it alone or with others. This is followed by purchasing goods and services, which consumers spend close to 40 minutes a day doing.

Other activities the US population carries out daily and the time spent on them are:

  • Caring for and helping household members: 0.48 hours
  • Educational activities: 0.44 hours
  • Organizational, civic, and religious activities: 0.26 hours
  • Caring for and helping non-household members: 0.18 hours
  • Telephone calls, mail, and email: 0.17 hours
  • Other: 0.21 hours

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