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Boomers Take Time for Themselves

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Boomers spent more time in 2009 on “personal care activities” such as sleeping and grooming, than any other activity, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The American Time Use Survey studied how much time Americans are devoting to working, childcare and other activities throughout the year, and surveyed over 13,000 Americans.

Boomers spent an average 9.25 hours each day on personal care activities, and 5.44 hours on leisure or sports. Educational activities warranted a mere 0.03 hours per day. Boomers spent almost half an hour each day caring for other people.

The survey included both employed and unemployed boomers, which skewed the number of hours spent working; according to the survey, boomers spent only 3.72 hours working or on work-related activities. In contrast, the average number of hours worked for all employed Americans was 7.5 hours per day. Boomer men worked more hours than women (4.49 hours, compared with 2.99 hours).

Older boomers split their exercise time evenly between the weekends and the weekdays. Those between ages 55 and 64 spent 0.23 hours on weekdays, as well as weekends and holidays exercising, or participating in sports or recreational activities. Younger boomers, who spent only 4.83 hours per day in the broader “leisure activities” devoted 0.24 hours to exercise on weekdays. The younger, and less likely to be retired cohort, spent more time working out on the weekends (0.35 hours) while the greater part of their free time went to watching television (2.43 hours on weekdays and 3.24 hours on their days off).