4102.0 - Australian Social Trends, Jun 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/06/2011   
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29 June 2011
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Australian workers want more leisure time

One in five Australian workers (21%) want to work less, with most wanting more time for social and recreational pursuits, according to the latest Australian Social Trends released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Australians at work

While most workers are happy with their usual hours, one in five (21%) preferred to work fewer hours (in 2007) saying they wanted more time for social and recreational activities, and free time (36%), and for their family (24%). Men, those already working full-time, and workers with children, were among those most likely to be overemployed. Workers who were Managers and Professionals were most likely to want to work less hours.

While Managers and Professionals may want to work less, those in white collar jobs were amongst the healthiest workers and least likely to suffer a work related injury. Overall, work-related injuries decreased to 53 injuries per 1,000 people employed in 2009-10, down from 64 injuries per 1,000 people employed in 2005-06.

Popcorn and footy?

It's not all hard work and no play though, with nearly nine in ten Australians aged 15 years and over attending at least one cultural venue or event in 2009-10 and around two in three participating in sport or physical recreation at least once in the same period.

Going to the cinema continued to be Australia's most popular cultural activity for those aged 15 years and over, with two thirds attending. Walking for exercise was the most popular sports and physical recreational activity for almost one in four Australians (23%) in 2009-10.

Online @ home

Being online at home is also a popular leisure pursuit for many Australians, with seven in ten households (72%) online at home in 2008-09, more than four times higher than a decade ago (16% in 1998). Most households with children under the age of 15 had access to the internet (86%), compared with two thirds (66%) of households without children.

In 2009, four in five children (79%) aged 5-14 years used the internet. Nearly all of these children used the internet at home, mostly for educational activities (85%) and online games (69%), but also for listening to, or downloading music (47%) or social networking (22%). Consequently, children aged 5-14 years have become the digital generation.

More details on these topics are available in the June edition of Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0).

Media note:
When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.