TIME SPENT ON CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
How people spend their time was the subject of an ABS survey conducted in 2006. People aged 15 years and over were asked to record what they did during a two-day period in five minute intervals. Information was recorded on necessary activities such as eating and sleeping, and the usual activities such as paid work, study, housework and unpaid community work.
The time left in the day after these activities have been accounted for 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 in table 1.1 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 or listening to TV was found to be the activity which took up most people's leisure time. On a daily basis 87% of Australians watched or listened to TV for an average of just under 3 hours (179 minutes), down slightly from the 1997 figure of 182 minutes. This means that in 2006, Australians aged 15 years and over spent a total of 42 million hours watching or listening to 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 ON SELECTED CULTURE AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES(a)(b) - 2006
spent by all
Average % of
day spent on
activity by all
minutes per day
Million of person
hours per day
|Visiting entertainment and cultural venues |
|Attendance at sports event |
|Religious activities/ritual ceremonies |
|Sport and outdoor activity |
|TV watching/listening |
|Video/DVD watching |
|Listening to radio |
|Listening to records/tapes/CDs and other audio media |
|Attendance at courses (excluding school and university) |
|Audio/visual media n.e.c.(c) |
|- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells) |
|(a) Includes only those that have taken part in the activity. |
|(b) Includes cultural activities that were undertaken as a secondary activity. |
|(c) Computer and internet use, other than for games. |
|Source: How Australians Use Their Time, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0). |
The Time Use Survey found that visiting entertainment and cultural venues attracted about 4% of the population who spent on average about two hours (114 minutes) when they attended. The total time spent by all Australians on visiting entertainment and cultural venues (1.3 million person hours per day) was similar to the time spent on religious activities and listening to records, tapes and CDs (1.3 million person hours per day and 1.1 million person hours per day respectively).