Here’s how older people spend their time according to the American Time Use Survey. Each element deserves thinking about the related business business opportunities from each activity:
Sleeping/Bathing/Dressing. People ages 65 to 74 spend an average of nine hours and 25 minutes per day sleeping, bathing and dressing, which is about the same amount of time the overall population spends on these activities. People age 75 and older get almost a half-hour more of sleep per day than younger retirees.
Watching television. Retirees spend more than half of their leisure time watching TV, averaging about four hours per day. Older people watch over an hour more TV daily than the overall population, which watches two-and-a-half hours each day.
Home improvements. The typical person spends an hour and 44 minutes on housework, food preparation, garden care and other household management activities. Retirees ages 65 to 74 spend two hours and 32 minutes daily working around the house.
Eating. Older people have more time to linger over meals, typically spending and hour and 25 minutes per day eating and drinking, compared to an hour and 15 minutes among the total population.
Working. People between ages 65 and 74 continue to work an average of a little over an hour per day.
Shopping. Retirees can take their time window shopping, comparing prices and evaluating the best purchase. They spend an average of 51 minutes daily purchasing goods and services, about eight minutes more per day than Americans overall.
Reading. The typical American spends only 19 minutes per day reading, but reading is more popular among older people. Seniors ages 75 and older spend almost an hour each day reading, and people ages 65 to 74 generally read for more than half an hour on weekdays.
Socializing. Older people often have more time to socialize than their younger counterparts. They typically spend three-quarters of an hour with friends or attending or hosting social events, compared to 37 minutes among the overall population.
Volunteering. Retirees spend an average of only a few minutes a day caring for members of their household, compared to more than an hour each day that people between 25 and 44 spend caring for their families. However, retirees spend slightly more time caring for people who live outside their household than younger people. And the typical retiree volunteers or is involved in civic or religious activities for about a half-hour each day.
Some more findings and charts from the survey:
Employed people 65 and over spent 2.8 fewer hours on average engaged in leisure time than those who were not employed. Most of the difference in leisure time is due to the fact that individuals who were not employed spent 1.7 more hours watching TV than those who were employed. (Data are from the 2011 survey).
Charts by Topic: Older Americans
- Employed people age 65 and over spent 2.8 fewer hours on average engaged in leisure time than those who were not employed. Most of the difference in leisure time is due to the fact that individuals who were not employed spent 1.7 more hours watching TV than those who were employed. (Data are from the 2011 survey).
- For Americans age 55 and over, average time spent working decreased with age, while leisure and sleep time increased. Individuals ages 55 to 64 spent 3.1 more hours working than individuals age 75 and over. Those age 75 and over spent 2.3 more hours in leisure and 0.8 more hour sleeping than those ages 55 to 64. (These data are averages for 2007 to 2011).
- Individuals age 65 and over who did not live with a spouse or unmarried partner spent 10.0 hours of their waking non-work time alone, compared to 5.3 hours for those who lived with a spouse or unmarried partner. Those who did not live with a spouse or unmarried partner spent more time with other family members (0.6 hour), friends (0.3 hour), and other non-relatives (0.4 hour) than those who lived with a spouse or unmarried partner. (These data are averages for 2007 to 2011).