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Time Use Survey: Welfare And Health

A major activity for New Zealanders is looking after other household members according to data from the 1999 Time Use Survey. Those aged 12 and over spend an estimated 1.6 million hours per day doing caring work for other household members as a primary activity. This is an average of 31 minutes per person. Caring includes physical care, teaching and playing with household members, but does not include housework or household shopping.

The findings released by Len Cook, Government Statistician, and Judy Lawrence, Chief Executive of Women's Affairs, show how much time New Zealanders spend looking after themselves and other people.

Mothers spend more time caring for other household members than fathers, particularly when the children being cared for are 4 and under. The group that spends the most time in caring, however, is Mäori women. Mäori women spend an average 58 minutes a day caring as a primary activity, and 8.7 hours caring as a simultaneous activity (eg childminding while studying). By contrast non-Mäori women spend a corresponding 42 minutes and 5.7 hours respectively.

Compared to the time spent caring for children, caring for adults as a primary activity is relatively low - about 176,000 hours a day, or a per person average of 3.5 minutes a day.

Those on the community wage and the domestic purposes benefit (DPB) spend more time caring for household members as a primary activity, than people who receive no government benefits. DPB recipients spend an average of 2.0 hours a day providing care for household members as a primary activity and a further 17.2 hours as a simultaneous activity. DPB recipients also spend more time providing unpaid care for non-household members - 15 minutes a day compared with people who receive no benefits who spend 6 minutes.

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New Zealanders aged 12 and over spend an estimated 0.7 million hours a day on unpaid work for community organisations, that is, an average of 14 minutes per person. Mäori most commonly work unpaid for leisure and recreation organisations and Mäori-based organisations.

The findings also revealed that teenage and adult New Zealanders spend an average of 8.6 hours per day sleeping and 2.2 hours eating and drinking. Those who spend less time asleep are 35-54 year olds who average 8.2 hours a day, while over 65 year olds spend more time both sleeping and eating. On average, New Zealanders spend the same amount of time asleep as Australians.

In addition, New Zealanders spend an average 22 minutes a day on sport and exercise, and if are smokers, 1.6 hours per day engaged in smoking.

The Time Use Survey was conducted from July 1998 to June 1999 by Statistics New Zealand and was commissioned by the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

Judy Lawrence CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MINISTRY OF WOMEN'S AFFAIRS

Len Cook GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

END

Supplementary Information

Caring for household members

Overall, New Zealanders aged 12 and over spend an estimated 1.6 million hours per day caring for other household members as their primary activity ? an average of 31 minutes per person.

Caring includes physical care, teaching and playing with household members, and helping them with educational activities. It does not include housework or shopping for the household. The survey also distinguishes between care as the main or primary activity, eg when bathing or feeding a baby, and care as a simultaneous activity, eg keeping an eye on children while studying at home.

Mäori women spend the most time caring for household members, an average of 58 minutes a day caring as a primary activity, and a further 8.7 hours caring as a simultaneous activity. Non-Mäori women spend an average of 42 minutes caring as a primary activity, and a further 5.7 hours caring as a simultaneous activity. Men spend much less time than women caring for household members.

Mothers spend more time caring for household members than fathers. This gender difference is greatest for the care of children aged 4 and under. The time spent caring for household members also varies by age group. People aged between 25 and 44 spend the most time caring for children under 14; 58 minutes a day on average caring for children as a primary activity, and a further 10.1 hours a day on average providing care as a simultaneous activity.

The time spent caring for adults is low ? an average of 3.5 minutes per day as a primary activity. This equates to about 176,000 hours per day. People aged 45 and over, and women in particular, spend more time caring for adults than other age groups. Women aged 45 to 64 spend an average of 6 minutes a day caring for household adults as a primary activity.

Working unpaid for community organisations

An estimated 0.7 million hours a day is spent on unpaid work for community organisations, that is, an average of 14 minutes per person (all New Zealanders aged 12 and over).

Men spend almost as much time as women doing unpaid work for community organisations; an average of 12 minutes compared with 15 minutes. Also, Mäori spend similar time to non-Mäori (15 minutes compared with 13 minutes).

Mäori most commonly work unpaid for leisure and recreation organisations and Mäori-based organisations. Non-Mäori also spend the longest time working unpaid for leisure and recreation groups, followed by member-benefit groups such as religious groups and professional associations.

The health and welfare activities of people receiving benefits

Those on the community wage and the domestic purposes benefit (DPB) spend more time caring for household members as a primary activity, than people who receive no government benefits. DPB recipients spend an average of 2.0 hours a day providing care as a primary activity and a further 17.2 hours providing care as a simultaneous activity. Community wage recipients spend 37 minutes caring as a primary activity and 6.0 hours caring as a simultaneous activity. People receiving no benefit spend an average of 30 minutes caring as a primary activity, though this includes young people who are less likely to have caring responsibilities.

DPB recipients also spend more time providing unpaid care for non-household members. They spend 15 minutes a day on average compared with community wage recipients at 10 minutes, and people who receive no benefits at 6 minutes.

Time spent on personal health-related activities

Eating and sleeping

New Zealanders aged 12 and over, whether male or female, Mäori or non-Mä ori, spend similar amounts of time eating and drinking (2.2 hours per day on average), and sleeping (8.6 hours per day). People aged 65 and over spend a little more time on these activities, but people in their middle years spend less time sleeping ? 35-54 year olds spend an average 8.2 hours sleeping.

New Zealanders spend the same amount of time sleeping on average as Australians do.

Sport and exercise

On average, teenage and adult New Zealanders of different ethnicities spend similar amounts of time on organised sport or exercise including as a simultaneous activity. Mäori spend an average of 24 minutes a day, Pacific Islands people an average 22 minutes a day, and European and Asian New Zealanders spend 21 minutes a day.

Overall, men spend 10 minutes a day more time on organised sport or exercise than women ? 27 minutes compared with 17 minutes. The gender difference is present for all ethnic groups.

Smoking

People who actually reported spending time smoking (including smoking as a simultaneous activity) spend a similar time on average ? 1.6 hours per day ? regardless of whether they are female, male, Mäori or non-Mäori. However, young women aged 12-29 who reported smoking spend an average of 1.9 hours per day.

This complements statistics on cigarette smoking behaviour from the 1996 Census where 23.7 percent of people 15 and over were regular cigarette smokers. Of women aged 15-29, 29.5 percent were regular smokers. The figure for Mäori women aged 15-29 was 53.5 percent.

The Time Use Survey

The Time Use Survey was conducted over a full year, from July 1998 to June 1999. It gathered information on time use by women and men, and Mä ori and non-Mäori aged 12 years and over living in private households. A full report on the Time Use Survey is scheduled for later in 2000.

Myra Page Client Services Officer Statistics New Zealand Phone: (04) 495 4731 Fax: 04 473 2626 Email: myra_page@stats.govt.nz Home Page: http://www.stats.govt.nz The information in this email, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and is for the intended recipient only. If you receive this message in error, please phone us (collect) on 04-495-4600, or notify us via postmaster@stats.govt.nz e-books: Statistics New Zealand publications on CD ROM Check out this exciting new electronic product containing over 48 recent titles. For further information email stephen_jones@stats.govt.nz or call Stephen on (04) 495 4681.


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