STOCKHOLM, June 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent survey conducted by digital magazine app Readly, in collaboration with YouGov, has revealed varying perspectives on taking breaks and use of free time during COVID-19 restrictions.
The 'all you can read' digital magazine platform found only 47% of American women and men are happy with the amount of time they get to relax, unwind, and pause from work, study, or household duties. Interestingly, 43% feel the restrictions have made it harder to differentiate between work/study and free time.
Breaking it down further, women are taking fewer breaks than their male counterparts. The results show 40 percent of American men are actively taking breaks several times a day, compared to only 35 percent of women.
Also, 29 percent of women feel the need to take breaks more often compared to 23 percent of men.
Ranj Begley, Chief Content Officer of Readly says, "Magazines are all about having downtime and allowing yourself to explore interests outside of work and study. We did this survey to investigate the habits of Americans during the pandemic and whether they are having enough time to unwind. The results show only half of the American population are getting this opportunity. So spending more time at home doesn't necessarily equate to taking more breaks."
"Without the usual geographical separation between someone's workplace, college, school, and home life, it's easier to fall into habits that involve working extra hours or doing household chores during those times when we would have relaxed in the past."
When asked whether they were taking more or fewer breaks than before the pandemic, nearly one quarter of % of respondents (24%) said they've been taking less. The blurred lines between work/study and free time are further highlighted by the 40% of Americans saying they're unsure about their break situation.
In terms of what people are doing in their breaks and find most relaxing, the top activities were (when asked to pick 3 options):
1) taking a nap (35%)
2) watching TV and YouTube (34%)
3) Reading books (27%)
4) Exercising (22%)
5) talking to friends/family (22%)
6) gaming (17%)
7) eating/drinking (15%)
8) scrolling social media (13%)
While watching TV and YouTube clips are Amercians' favourite pastime across the board, there are some clear regional differences across the county for the second most favored activity. In the northeast, talking to family/friends is prefered; the midwest prioritises eating/drinking, whereas taking a nap is the second favourite pastime in the south. The West Coast showed napping and exercising in tied second place.
Ranj Begley adds, "To coincide with this survey, we also analysed the Readly platforms to see whether any particular magazine genres had seen an increase in popularity over the pandemic. Hobbies & collecting saw a 156% increase, craft and DIY 128% and home and renovation 84%, The crosswords and Sudoku publications also experienced a significant increase. So it appears magazines are being used to inspire more positive downtime activities."
Overall, Americans are feeling the pressure of Covid-19 restrictions when it comes to taking necessary and adequate breaks. While some are finding enough downtime in their day, others are yearning for more.
Study conducted by YouGov during the periods of 15-18th of March 2021 amongst 1318 Americans over the age of 18.