Leisure activities in Germany
Germans aged over 14 have an average of four hours and three minutes of spare time per day, the Hamburg researchers found, and spend a lot of it at home on the sofa. Watching television remains the most popular leisure activity, regardless of age, education, gender or family status.
‘Making phone calls’ and ‘listening to the radio’ are other popular activities across all age groups. Surfing the internet ranked only 10th among adolescents and young adults. Sport was nowhere to be found in the top slots. Instead, ‘having a lie-in’ or ‘taking it easy’ are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, most leisure activities are actually ‘passivities’, according to the Foundation’s Director of Research, Ulrich Reinhardt.
Gender clichés and leisure activities
The research study confirms some gender clichés. Women spend almost twice as much time as men reading and writing letters. They spend more time on grooming, shopping and making phone calls, too. Men prefer to spend their free time at the pub, doing DIY or watching sport.
The situation is very similar in his country, comments Hamid Boukheraz from Morocco. He and other users of the alumni portal Germany compared the German findings with leisure activities in their countries of origin. He himself likes to go jogging or take his family to the seaside in his spare time, but he believes that is anything but typical. Moroccan men spend at least two hours a day at the café watching football matches on TV, he says, while the women ‘go shopping’.
Television, a global favourite
In Senegal, too, sports programmes on TV are absolutely central: ‘On Sundays between 5pm and 8pm, everyone in Senegal sits down to watch wrestling matches on TV,’ reports Mamadou Mbaye. Most people then stay up all night drinking strong tea and discussing the techniques and tricks of this national sport and the wrong decisions made by referees. Many people in Senegal are jobless, says Mbaye, and so have too much time on their hands.
Kyrellos Boutros from Egypt tells a similar story. He works as a German teacher and prefers to spend his four hours of spare time per day on the internet or at the café with his family. He believes the average Egyptian has five to six hours of leisure time a day.
In Ukraine, by contrast, people have much less spare time than they did a few years ago, says Alexander Belyakov from Kiev. The economic crisis has forced many people to take on two or even three jobs, he reports. This is also the case for Irina Pinigina-Petrovskaya from Minsk, the capital of Belarus. She only has two free hours a day at most and often has to work at the weekend, too. She spends the precious time she has to herself with her family, on the internet or out cycling.
Puneet Nangia from India also likes to do sport in his free time and goes to the gym four times a week. But his favourite way to spend his time is just sitting in front of the TV with his parents. ‘That’s the best way to relax and is great fun.’ And it’s typical in India, he says.
Not just there – whether in Africa, Asia, South America or Europe, it seems no one can resist the lure of the TV set, a fact that the global advance of the internet has done little to change.
Many sites in the community also discuss the subject of spare time and different leisure activities. Read more …