Among employed married adults aged 25 to 64, working husbands spend an average of about 28 hours per week on leisure activities, while wives allocate approximately 26 hours to leisure. This disparity holds true across both parents and those without children under 18, according to PEW Research Centre.
LEISURE GAP WIDENS FOR PARENTS
When parents are factored into the equation, a larger gap emerges. Employed, married parents with children under 18 spend less time on leisure activities compared to their childless counterparts. Those with children allocate roughly 24.5 hours per week to leisure, while those without children engage in about 30.4 hours of leisure per week.
GENDER DISCREPANCY MORE PRONOUNCED AMONG PARENTS
The gender gap in leisure time is most striking among parents. Married employed fathers with at least one child under 18 living at home enjoy an average of 25.7 hours of leisure per week, while their working wives devote about 22.8 hours to leisure, creating a difference of 2.9 hours. For couples without children under 18, the gap narrows to 1.6 hours.
This gender difference is most significant when raising very young children. Working fathers with children under the age of 5 spend 4.5 more hours per week on leisure compared to their wives who are also employed. In contrast, husbands with children aged 13 to 17 allocate 1.9 more hours to leisure than working wives with children in the same age group.
VARIATIONS IN LEISURE ACTIVITIES
Working husbands and wives differ in how they spend their leisure time. The most common leisure activity for both genders is relaxing and watching TV, but husbands tend to spend more time on these activities. For example, working husbands spend an average of 15.5 hours per week watching TV, while working wives allocate 13.2 hours to this pastime.
In terms of socializing and communicating, working wives spend slightly more time on these activities compared to their male counterparts. However, the difference is less than an hour per week, with wives devoting 4.2 hours and husbands allocating 3.5 hours to these activities.
When it comes to engaging in sports or physical activities, working husbands and wives dedicate similar amounts of time each week.
Additionally, employed wives spend slightly more time on sleep compared to employed husbands, averaging 60.3 hours per week for women and 58.8 hours for men.
In both cases, whether married adults have children or not, relaxing and watching TV are the predominant leisure activities. However, parents spend less time on each of these activities than those without children. For instance, working parents spend approximately 12.2 hours per week watching TV, while their childless counterparts engage in roughly 16.9 hours of TV-related leisure activities.