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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Leisure - Active Leisure Time

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Active leisure is divided into three categories of activity:

  • Social leisure, where the primary focus is socializing with family and friends;
  • Cognitive leisure, where the focus is on hobbies, games, and other mentally stimulating activities; and
  • Physical leisure, which encompasses sports and exercise.

These activities often occur outside the home and typically involve contact with others.

Total leisure time is composed of both active and passive leisure time. Active leisure activities can provide both physical and mental health benefits, including opportunities for skill development, learning, and socializing.

Summary

  • National Picture — In 2010, Canadians spent on average 1.4 hours less on active leisure per week than they did in 1998. The decrease resulted from a decline in time spent on social leisure activities.
  • Gender — On average, women spent less time than men on active leisure activities (0.2 hours or 13 minutes less per day) in 2010, but tended to spend slightly more time than men on social leisure activities, such as visiting with friends (0.15 hours more per day or an hour more per week).
  • Age — Social leisure activities took up most of the active leisure time of Canadians until age 75, when the amount of time spent on cognitive leisure activities began to exceed that spent on social leisure.
  • Regions — The average amount of time spent on active leisure varied among the provinces in 2005, from a low of 2.9 hours per day in Alberta and New Brunswick to a high of 3.6 hours per day in Newfoundland and Labrador.

National Picture

From 1992 to 1998, the average amount of time that Canadians spent daily on active leisure pursuits increased from204 to210 minutes. Between 1998 and 2010, total active leisure timefell to198 minutes.

Throughout the whole period, there was no change in the amount of time allocated on average to physical activities (such as sports and exercise), and a small increase in the amount of time spent on cognitive activities (such as pursuing hobbies, reading, or attending entertainment events). The amount of time spent on social activities (such as socializing with friends at home) decreased from a high of114 minutesper day in 1998 to97 minutes per day on average in 2010. This decrease amounts to roughlytwo hours per week.


This Chart contains data for Average active leisure time, by type of activity, Canada, 1992, 1998, 2005 and 2010. Information is available in table below 2010 (Physical) = 30 2010 (Cognitive) = 71 2010 (Social) = 97 2005 (Physical) = 30 2005 (Cognitive) = 72 2005 (Social) = 102 1998 (Physical) = 30 1998 (Cognitive) = 66 1998 (Social) = 114 1992 (Physical) = 30 1992 (Cognitive) = 66 1992 (Social) = 108 (minutes per day) Average active leisure time, by type of activity, Canada, 1992, 1998, 2005 and 2010

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). 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 active leisure time, by type of activity, Canada, 1992, 1998, 2005 and 2010 (minutes per day)
1992199820052010
Social10811410297
Cognitive66667271
Physical30303030

Gender

In 2010, men spent more time on average than did women on active leisure activities: 205 minutes per day for men compared with 192 minutes per day for women. Men and women also divided their time differently among the three types of active leisure activities. Men spent more time than women on cognitive and physical leisure activities, while women spent more time than men on social leisure (just over an hour more per week).


This Chart contains data for Average active leisure time, by type of activity and gender, 2010. Information is available in table below Women (Physical) = 23 Women (Cognitive) = 68 Women (Social) = 101 Men (Physical) = 37 Men (Cognitive) = 76 Men (Social) = 92 Both sexes (Physical) = 30 Both sexes (Cognitive) = 71 Both sexes (Social) = 97 (minutes per day) Average active leisure time, by type of activity and gender, 2010

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 active leisure time, by type of activity and gender, 2010 (minutes per day)
Both sexesMenWomen
Social9792101
Cognitive717668
Physical303723

Age

In 2010, Canadians aged 15 to 24 spent more time on active leisure activities than did those in the other age groups (257 minutes per day). Those aged 65 to 74 were the next most active age group (241 minutes). Those aged 35 to 44 spent the least amount of time on active leisure (151 minutes). The average amount of time spent per day on active leisure tended to decrease until age 45, then increase again after that point.

The time spent on different types of active leisure tended to vary with age. Much of the active leisure time of those aged 15 to 24 was spent on social activities: 123 minutes per day. This was at least 17 minutes more per day than the time other age groups spent on social activities. Canadians aged 15 to 24 also spent more time on physical leisure activities, such as sports and exercise, than did those in other age groups.

After the age of 45, Canadians tended to spend more time on social leisure activities. Those aged 55 to 64 spent 13 more minutes, per day on social leisure than did those between the ages of 35 and 44. Time spent on social leisure for those 65 to 74 rose an additional 18 minutes per day on average.

Time spent on cognitive leisure tended to increase after age 45. Cognitive leisure activities increased dramatically for Canadians 75 and over, who spent on average just under 2 hours per day on activities such as reading, hobbies, and attending movies, and other entertainment and sports events. Canadians aged 75 and over spent 66 minutes a day on reading compared with 20 minutes per day for Canadians across all age groups.


This Chart contains data for Average active leisure time, by type of activity and age, 2010. Information is available in table below 75+ years (Physical) = 22 75+ years (Cognitive) = 110 75+ years (Social) = 92 65-74 years (Physical) = 33 65-74 years (Cognitive) = 98 65-74 years (Social) = 110 55-64 years (Physical) = 29 55-64 years (Cognitive) = 75 55-64 years (Social) = 92 45-54 years (Physical) = 29 45-54 years (Cognitive) = 58 45-54 years (Social) = 84 35-44 years (Physical) = 26 35-44 years (Cognitive) = 46 35-44 years (Social) = 79 25-34 years (Physical) = 30 25-34 years (Cognitive) = 58 25-34 years (Social) = 105 15-24 years (Physical) = 39 15-24 years (Cognitive) = 95 15-24 years (Social) = 123 (minutes per day) Average active leisure time, by type of activity and age, 2010

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 active leisure time, by type of activity and age, 2010 (minutes per day)
15-24 years25-34 years35-44 years45-54 years55-64 years65-74 years75+ years
Social12310579849211092
Cognitive955846587598110
Physical39302629293322

Regions

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec spent more time per day on active leisure activities than the Canadian average. people in Newfoundland and Labrador spent 216 minutes per day while people in Prince Edward Island and Quebec spent, 210 minutes per day, compared with 204 minutes per day for Canada overall. This means that residents in these provinces spent between three-quarters of an hour and an hour and a half more per week on active leisure.

Residents of New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta spent less time than the national average on active leisure. Albertans and New Brunswickers spent the least time: 174 minutes per day. Residents of Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and British Columbia spent on average 204 minutes per day, which equals to the national average.


This Chart contains data for Average active leisure time, by region, 2005. Information is available in table below BC = 204 AB = 174 SK = 192 MB = 204 ON = 198 QC = 210 NB = 174 NS = 204 PE = 210 NL = 216 CAN = 204 (minutes per day) Average active leisure time, by region, 2005

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 active leisure time, by region, 2005 (minutes per day)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBC
204216210204174210198204192174204

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Date Modified:
2014-12-18