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4172.0 - Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/06/2007  Reissue
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Contents >> 1.0 Participation and Attendance - Introduction >> Time spent on cultural activities

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.


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
Participation
rate
Total time
spent by all
Australians
Average
percentage
of day spent on
activity by all
Australians
Activity
minutes
per day
%
millions of
person hours
per day
%

Visiting entertainment and cultural venues
120
4.6
1.4
0.4
Attendance at sports events
150
1.3
0.5
0.1
Religious activities and ritual ceremonies
92
5.5
1.2
0.4
Sport and outdoor activity
103
27.1
6.6
1.9
Games, hobbies, arts and crafts
105
19.6
4.8
1.4
Reading
76
48.0
8.6
2.5
Watching TV
182
86.7
36.9
11.0
Watching videos
111
6.5
1.7
0.5
Listening to radio
135
55.0
17.4
5.2
Listening to CDs, records and tapes
91
5.6
1.2
0.4
Attendance at recreational courses
123
0.8
0.2
0.1

(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. The total time spent by all Australians on visiting entertainment and cultural venues (1.4 million person hours per day) was similar to the time spent on religious activities and listening to CDs, records and tapes (1.2 million person hours per day).


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).

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