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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 July, 2004, 19:07 GMT 20:07 UK
UK men are 'couch potatoes' of EU
Ricky Tomlinson playing ultimate slob Jim Royle in the Royle Family
Are British men becoming more like sitcom character Jim Royle?
British men are couch potatoes who spend nearly half their free-time watching TV, an EU survey has revealed.

They watch more TV than women, do less housework, less charity work and less childcare - but spend more time shopping, the poll suggests.

Analysts from Eurostat, the EU's statistical office, interviewed working men and women in 10 countries.

Britain, where men devoted 49% of their free-time to the box, came a narrow second to the Hungarians with 51%.

German and Norwegian men watched the least TV - just over one third of their spare time.

The statisticians took the average of the figures for the whole year including holidays and weekends.

Chores

They broke down the "average day" into five categories - free-time, sleep, meals and personal care, travel, domestic chores and work/study.

It shows that British men have four hours and 41 minutes free time each day - 20 minutes more than women.

But women spend nearly double the amount of time on domestic chores than men.

Almost three-and-a-half hours of a woman's day is taken up with domestic work, compared to less than two hours for men.

THE AVERAGE UK DAY
Free time - 4hrs 41mins
(4hrs 21mins)
Sleep - 8hrs 11mins
(8hrs 25mins)
Meals, personal care - 1hr 55mins
(2hrs 7mins)
Travel - 1hr 36mins
(1hr 33mins)
Domestic chores - 1hr 54mins
(3hrs 28mins)
Work/study - 5hrs 42mins
(4hrs 6mins)

Women's figures in brackets
Food preparation makes up the bulk of the chores, with cleaning and shopping the next most time-consuming.

They further broke down the free-time and domestic categories to reveal that men spend 137 minutes each day in front of the TV, compared to women's 114 minutes.

Women spend slightly more time socialising, resting and reading than men, but slightly less time on hobbies, sport and exercise.

Universally unpopular with both sexes is culture - accounting for just 2% of both men and women's leisure time.

EU statisticians interviewed people between the ages of 20 and 74 years old in Belgium, Germany, Estonia, France, Hungary, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, the UK and Norway.


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