Saturday 20 January 2018

Women have less time for hobbies because they spend more time on chores than men

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Olivia Rudgard

Women spend less time on hobbies because their hours are taken up by housework and childcare, analysis of new data suggests.

The first-ever analysis of leisure time carried out by the Office for National Statistics has found that men spend around half an hour every week more than women enjoying themselves - and the gap is even larger when it comes to hobbies.

Men spend an average of four hours and 39 minutes every week on "hobbies, computing and games", while women spend just two hours and 38 minutes on the same activities.

Overall men spent 6 hours and 9 minutes per day on leisure pursuits, compared to 5 hours and 29 minutes spent by women.

The ONS report concluded that "when not in leisure, women were more likely to be performing unpaid work".

It adds: "Our definition of unpaid work describes activities that members of households perform for their own, or other, households for free, but that could be contracted out to a market service provider.

"This may include activities such as childcare, adult care, volunteering or housework."

Men spent more of their hours on leisure time than women in almost every category, including hobbies, games, sports and mass media - such as TV, films and newspapers.

Women spent more time socialising, and marginally more time on cultural activities such as going to galleries, plays or concerts.

Last year separate ONS figures showed that women were still shouldering the burden of unpaid work, carrying out an average of 26 hours per week compared to 16 done by men.

Professor Margaret Hogg, of Lancaster University Management School, said: "There are lots of men who help now, but the prime responsibility for family life, for knowing what's for dinner and what's on the shopping list, still lies with women.

"It's also about freedom. You can't turn your phone off and disappear to a golf course, and if you've committed to be the goalie for the hockey match, then you're committed, so you can't be the back-up in case the child falls off the swing. Many women still carry that sense of responsibility with them."

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