Leisure marketing to people who put leisure above eating, kids and housework.

If you’re a CMO focusing on leisure marketing, the latest study of how Americans spend their time is evidence that adults put a premium on their leisure time.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average adult works more than he sleeps, but plays more than he eats, does housework or watches his kids.

But how much leisure time they have and what they use it for depends on their age and whether or not they have kids at home.

In America, “Work hard, play hard” is a way of life.

And now there’s research to prove it. The most recent American Time Use Survey, put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, collects information on the activities people do each day, and how much time they spent doing them.  And the results were surprising.

Americans put work in front of sleep and leisure in front of just about everything else.

On an average weekday, adults with kids spend the biggest part of their day working (8.8 hours), and the second largest percentagee of their day sleeping (7.6 hours).  That leaves 7.6 hours to get everything else done, from caring for their kids, to feeding the family to doing housework.  But you might be surprised to find out that the activity they prioritized  right after work and sleep wasn’t making meals, housework or kids. It was sports and  leisure. In fact, during a typical week night, the average American adult spends one-third of their free time doing leisure activities.

Too much to do, not enough time to do it.

What do we spend our free time doing?

Watching TV accounts for about half of the leisure time of both men and women. Socializing with friends comes next. Sports, exercise and recreation ranked third, with men being more likely than women to spend time on these activities by a margin of 21% to 15%.

Time spent reading for personal interest, playing games, and using a computer varied greatly by age with adults 75 and over spending the most time on these activities. As people get older, they also have more free time.  Adults without any kids under age 18 left at home averaged 4.5 hours of leisure time a day, a full hour more than adults who kids under 6 at home.

If you do leisure marketing to Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, the good news is that your target audience will have more and more free time as they age and their children leave home. The bad news is that you will still have to pry them away from the TV to get them to try your leisure brand.

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