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Americans Spend Their Spare Time Eating and Watching TV

By HERWriter Guide
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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

Poor Americans! Can they do anything right these days? If they're not over-eating then they're under-exercising or they sleep too little and stress too much. They're all dirt poor and living in hovels or they're too rich and ruining the environment with their McMansions and jumbo SUVs. Can they ever win?

Apparently not! Because a new study has emerged to tell us how lazy Americans are when not working or sleeping. The Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a survey, asking Americans what they do in their down time. Most people stated they spent most of their spare time preparing and eating food and drinks, watching television and hanging out with each other. The results stated that food and drink preparation and eating accounted for 95 percent of inactive time, 80 percent also watched TV and 37 percent stated they interacted with others. As "sedentary" as this is, I think a 37 percent communication rate is pretty good!

As far as active pursuits go, less than 2.5 percent reported they took part in the use of cardio equipment, running or aerobic activity. Personal care (almost 80 percent), driving (71 percent) and housekeeping (50 percent) are listed as the top everyday run-of-the-mill activities reported by persons when not sleeping or working.

But lest we end up thinking that we’re all a bunch of layabouts, this survey covered only one day. Since almost everyone eats on their down time and many watch TV on a daily basis, these sedentary activities naturally head to the top of their lists. Many other Americans work out every other day or at least several days per week (and often at lunch time) so we may not be quite as lazy as we seem! However, we do have to admit that the results of the use of exercise equipment or exercising in general are pretty dismal.

Eighty-thousand people responded to the surveys over a 5-year period.

Looking around your area, what do you make of this survey and these statistics? Where I live (admittedly a progressive university town with a high rate of bike commutership, outdoor activities and emphasis on organic eating – boy that sounds a tad pretentious, eh?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.