SEOUL, Feb.5 (Korea Bizwire) – A new study has revealed that the amount of time Koreans spend eating or taking care of their hygiene or personal appearance is increasing, but time spent meeting other people, on leisure activities and at work has decreased.
A report entitled ’24 Hours of Korean People after 2000′ issued by the LG Economy Research Center looked into how Koreans spent time in the past, and how they spend it now. Based on the results of the ‘living time investigation’ conducted every five years by Statistics Korea, researchers looked at data from 1999 and 2014.
Over the past 15 years, there was an increase in the amount of time spent on personal maintenance activities such as sleeping, eating, personal hygiene, appearance management, and health care.
The average time spent on personal maintenance per week in 2014 was 10 hours and 58 minutes, which was a 47 minute increase compared to the 10 hours and 11 minutes spent in 1999.
On the other hand, time spent on obligatory activities during weekdays, such as work, housework, taking care of family and commuting dropped by 22 minutes from 8 hours and 57 minutes to 8 hours and 35 minutes.
Data also showed that time spent meeting others or on leisure during weekdays decreased by 25 minutes from 4 hours and 51 minutes to 4 hours and 26 minutes.
Observing changes in lifestyle, the amount of time spent sleeping on Sundays showed a noticeable increase. In 1999, adults over 20 slept 8 hours and 20 minutes on Sundays. However, in 2014, the average time spent sleeping increased by 23 minutes to 8 hours and 43 minutes. Considering that the average sleep time on weekdays in 2014 was 7 hours and 43 minutes, and only increased by 5 minutes over the past 15 years, the jump on Sundays was significant.
Time spent eating and snacking is also increasing. In 2014, 1 hour and 56 minutes was devoted to eating and snacking on weekdays, and 2 hours and 4 minutes on Sundays, for a 22 minute weekday increase and 26 minute Sunday increase compared to 1999.
In 2014, Koreans spent an hour during weekdays and on Sunday to maintain their personal hygiene. The corresponding figures for 1999 were 39 minutes and 40 minutes respectively.
Shopping time increased by 2 minutes on weekdays (11 minutes in 2014), and by 7 minutes on Sundays (18 minutes in 2014).
In addition, time spent on sports during weekdays increased drastically from 18 minutes in 1999 to 28 minutes in 2014. The time spent on Sundays increased 16 minutes from 25 minutes to 41 minutes.
In contrast, time spent meeting other people decreased greatly. Human contact was reduced from 43 minutes in 1999 to 28 minutes in 2014 during weekdays, and 54 minutes in 1999 to 34 minutes in 2014 on Sundays. On the other hand, communication by telephone, email and means other than human contact increased from 9 minutes to 16 minutes.
Daily work hours in 2014 dropped by 33 minutes to 6 hours and 52 minutes, and instead of reading newspapers or magazines, the amount of time spent surfing the internet, listening to music and using other digital devices increased over the years.
Researchers commented that Koreans have tended to cut back leisure time and have been spending it on personal maintenance instead since 2010. The advancements in IT technology could have reduced the time needed for shopping, communication, and hanging out with friends, but researchers are convinced that Koreans’ tendency to be more self-involved is increasing.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)