TIME SPENT ON CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
How people spend their time was the subject of an ABS survey conducted in 1997. People aged 15 years and over were asked to record what they did during a two-day period. Information was recorded on eating, sleeping, paid work, housework etc. - all of which are considered essential activities.
The time left in the day after these essential activities have been done is considered free time, and it is under the broad heading of free time that most culture and recreation activities appear.
Many free time activities can be undertaken simultaneously with another activity (e.g. watching TV while eating a meal, or listening to the radio while doing housework). The information presented below shows the time spent by participants on each activity, regardless of whether it was the main activity being undertaken at the time or whether it was a secondary activity being undertaken simultaneously.
It is perhaps not too surprising that watching TV was found to be the activity which took up most people's leisure time. Approximately 87% of Australians watched TV for an average of just over 3 hours (182 minutes) per day. This means that in 1997, Australians aged 15 years and over spent a total of 37 million hours watching TV each day.
It should be noted that many people were also involved in other activities such as eating and drinking and housework at the same time that they were watching TV.
Other activities on which Australians spent a large amount of time included listening to the radio and reading.
1.1 AVERAGE TIME SPENT BY PARTICIPANTS ON SELECTED CULTURE AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES(a)(b) - 1997
Average time spent by participants
Total time spent by all Australians
Average percentage of day spent on activity by all Australians
minutes per day
millions of person hours per day
|Visiting entertainment and cultural venues |
|Attendance at sports events |
|Religious activities and ritual ceremonies |
|Sport and outdoor activity |
|Games, hobbies, arts and crafts |
|Watching TV |
|Watching videos |
|Listening to radio |
|Listening to CDs, records and tapes |
|Attendance at recreational courses |
|(a) Includes only those who have taken part in the activity. |
|(b) Includes cultural activities which were undertaken as a secondary activity. |
|ABS, Time Use Survey, 1997, data available on request. |
The Time Use Survey found that visiting entertainment and cultural venues attracted about 5% of the population who spent on average about two hours when they attended.
Activities included movies, concerts, theatres and the library. More details from this survey about the time spent visiting each type of venue can be obtained from the ABS publication Time Use on Culture/Leisure Activities, 1997 (cat. no. 4173.0).