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Leisure - Passive Leisure Time

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Passive leisure is the time that people spend at home in activities that are relaxing and that require little effort. Passive leisure activities include watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to music.

Total leisure time is composed of both passive and active leisure time. Passive leisure activities provide relaxation, which is necessary to mental health, but such activities are typically sedentary and may do little to improve physical health or cognitive functioning. Ideally, time spent in passive leisure should be balanced with time spent in active leisure activities.

Summary

  • National Picture — The amount of time that Canadians spent on passive leisure decreased slightly between 1992 and 2010, dropping from 2.3 hours per day to 2.2 hours.
  • Gender — In 2010, men spent on average 2.4 hours per day on passive leisure while women spent roughly 24 minutes less, at 2 hours per day.
  • Age — The amount of time spent on passive leisure tended to increase with age. In 2010, Canadians 75 years of age and over spent 3.9 hours per day on passive leisure, compared with the overall Canadian average of 2.2 hours.
  • Regions — Residents of New Brunswick spent the greatest amount of time per day on passive leisure in 2005: 2.6 hours per day, compared with the Canadian average of 2.2 hours.

National Picture

In 2010, Canadians spent less time in passive leisure pursuits than they had in previous years. This decrease was slight. In 1992, Canadians spent 138 minutes per day on passive leisure. This dropped in 2010 to 129 minutes. In 2010, Canadians spent about 40% of their average daily leisure time on passive leisure (126 minutes) and 60% (198 minutes) on active leisure activities. The bulk of passive leisure time was spent watching television: 98% or 126 minutes of the 129 minutes spent on passive leisure per day.


This Chart contains data for Average passive and active leisure time, Canada, 1992, 1998, 2005 and 2010. Information is available in table below

Note: The sum of active and passive time may not add up to leisure time totals due to rounding error.

Source: For 2010, HRSDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. General Social Survey 2010. Overview of the Time Use of Canadians. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2011 (Cat. No. 89-647-X, see Table 1.1). For 2005, Statistics Canada, General Social Survey on Time Use. Overview of the Time Use of Canadians. Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2006 (Cat. No. 12F0080-XIE, see Table 1.1); for 1992 and 1998, Statistics Canada, General social survey (GSS), average time spent on various activities for the population aged 15 years and over, by sex and main activity, occasional (CANSIM Table 113-0001). Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2006.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Average passive and active leisure time, Canada, 1992, 1998, 2005 and 2010 (minutes per day)
1992199820052010
Passive leisure138138132129
Active leisure204210204198

Gender

In 2010, men spent slightly more time on passive leisure (141 minutes) than did women (117 minutes). The amount of time men spent on passive leisure declined, however, between 1992 and 2005. In both 1992 and 1998, men spent on average 150 minutes per day on passive leisure, and this declined to 141 minutes, in 2010.


This Chart contains data for Average passive leisure time, by gender, 1992, 1998, 2005 and 2010. Information is available in table below

Source: For 2010, HRSDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. General Social Survey 2010. Overview of the Time Use of Canadians. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2011 (Cat. No. 89-647-X, see Table 1.1). For 2005, Statistics Canada, General Social Survey on Time Use. Overview of the Time Use of Canadians. Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2006 (Cat. No. 12F0080-XIE, see Table 1.1); for 1992 and 1998, Statistics Canada, General social survey (GSS), average time spent on various activities for the population aged 15 years and over, by sex and main activity, occasional (CANSIM Table 113-0001). Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2006.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Average passive leisure time, by gender, 1992, 1998, 2005 and 2010 (minutes per day)
1992199820052010
Both sexes138138132129
Men150150138141
Women120126120117

Age

In 2010, the average amount of time spent daily on passive leisure was lowest among Canadians aged 35 to 44. On average, this age group spent 95 minutes per day on passive leisure. Older Canadians tended to spend a greater amount of time on passive leisure. In 2010, Canadians between the ages of 45 and 54 years spent 113 minutes on passive leisure per day, rising to 159 minutes for those between 55 and 64 years of age. For those aged 75 years and over, the average amount of time spent on passive leisure in 2010 was 231 minutes per day.


This Chart contains data for Average passive leisure time, by age, 2010. Information is available in table below

Source: For 2010, HRSDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. General Social Survey 2010. Overview of the Time Use of Canadians. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2011 (Cat. No. 89-647-X).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Average passive leisure time, by age, 2010 (minutes per day)
All, 15+ years15-24 years25-34 years35-44 years45-54 years55-64 years65-74 years75+ years
1291009995113159198231

Regions

In 2005, residents of Alberta spent the least amount of time on passive leisure. On average, Canadians spent 132 minutes per day on passive leisure activities, compared with 120 minutes per day for Alberta residents. On average, New Brunswick residents spent the most time per day on passive leisure (156 minutes) compared with residents in other Canadian provinces.


This Chart contains data for Average passive leisure time, by region, 2005. Information is available in table below

Source: Calculations of HRSDC based on Statistics Canada for 2005. General Social Survey on Time Use: Overview of the Time Use of Canadians. Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2006 (Cat. No.12F0080XIE).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Average passive leisure time, by region, 2005 (minutes per day)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBC
132144132144156132132144126120132

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