I was curious the other day how much time we waste doing the things we do every day. Activities such as sleeping, watching television, or even going to the bathroom. What follows are the results of studies I have discovered as well as calculations I have come up with on my own. I don’t claim any of them to be scientifically accurate but I would venture to say they are pretty damned close. I have based all of these numbers on the average of the male and female life expectancy as given by National Geographic. That number for a woman is 81, and for a man is 76. I have split the difference at 79 (and when days are necessary have included 20 leap days).


Assuming you sleep an average of 8 hours per day, the average person will spend 26.35 years of their life sleeping. That’s an astounding 1/3 or 33 percent of your life spent in the land of dreams. Seems like such a waste.


Assuming graduate at 18, attend college for a 4 year degree, start working full time immediately after graduation and work until full retirement age (USA) of 65, and also assuming you did not work bank holidays, the average person works 9.83 years. That comes in at 12.5 percent of your life spent slaving away for somebody else. I guess that’s why they say to find a job you love.

Educating Ourselves

Based on figures taken from the US Department of Education website, the average school day in the US is 6.8 hours. Assuming you go as far as to earn a bachelors degree, 2.38 years of your life will be spent spent attending class. If you passed your math classes you should be able to figure out that this comes to 3 percent of your life.

Watching Television

According to Nielsen, the average American spends 34 hours per week watching television. These days we start our babies off watching Disney Junior so we’ll average that number over an entire lifetime. I’m sure it’s not surprising that 16 years of your life is spent watching television.An astounding 20.25 percent of our time here on Earth is spent in front of the picture box. I love television as much as the next but even I can’t justify this much time (although I fear I actually watch more than average).


One of my least favorite things to do. According the the Department of Transportation the average American drives 13.476 miles per year. At an average speed of 45 MPH this comes to 2.05 years of life or 2.6 percent of your precious years spent behind the wheel.


According to the bureau of labor statistics the average person spends 1.1 hours per day eating. This equates to 3.62 years or 4.6 percent of your life spent eating.


The most amusing statistic of all. According to research done in the UK, the average person spends about 15 minutes per day going to the bathroom. Over the course of a lifetime this equates to .82 years. Nearly 1 year or roughly 1 percent of your life spent on the crapper. Do me a favor, while you’re sitting there with nothing to do, continue to stop by my blog and read what’s on my mind!

What Do You Waste Time Doing?

Popular choices include, facebook or social media, sex, texting or talking on the phone, household chores, feeling ill, shopping. How much time do you spend on your favorite (or perhaps most hated) activities?

Photo Credit: Jonathan Emmanuel