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The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while women continue to spend more time doing household chores, men are spending more time cooking and cleaning than they did in the past.

The bureau’s “American Time Use Survey” showed that on an average day, 84 percent of women spent time on household activities such as doing housework, preparing and serving meals, working on lawn care and conducting other household management duties. This compares to 68 percent of men.

With cleaning and laundry, 19 percent of men did these chores on an average day compared to 49 percent of women. “Forty-six percent of men did food preparation or cleanup, compared with 69 percent of women,” the BLS researchers said in their report. “Men were slightly more likely to engage in lawn and garden care than were women — 11 percent, compared with 8 percent.”

The 46 percent of men who did food preparation and cleanup compares to 35 percent in 2003.

The survey also examined leisure activities. The BLS researchers said on an average day, “nearly everyone age 15 and over (96 percent) engaged in some sort of leisure activity, such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising.” The BLS noted that men spent “33 minutes per day more in these activities than did women (five-and-a-half hours, compared with five hours).”

By type of activity, the survey showed that watching TV occupied the most time — 2.8 hours per day, which was over half of all the time spent on leisure activities. “The amount of time people spent watching TV varied by age,” the BLS said in the report. Those ages 15 to 44 spent the least amount of time watching TV, averaging around two hours per day, and those ages 65 and over spent the most time watching TV, averaging over four hours per day.”

In regard to socializing, which includes visiting friends or attending (or hosting) some form of social event, people spent just 39 minutes on an average day on these activities. On weekend days, though, these activities garnered 58 minutes of timeshare.

The report also showed that on average, people between the ages of 15 to 24 “spent the most time playing games or using a computer for leisure — about one hour per day. Conversely, individuals ages 35 to 44 spent the least amount of time playing games or using a computer for leisure —13 minutes per day.”

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