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NatCen to survey how British public spend their time

07 March 2014

NatCen Social Research has been commissioned by the Centre for Time Use Research at the University of Oxford to conduct the UK Time Diary Study.

NatCen Social Research has been commissioned by the Centre for Time Use Research at the University of Oxford to conduct the UK Time Diary Study.

This ESRC funded survey of around 5,500 households requires participants across the UK to record what they are doing every ten minutes over the course of two days, giving a unique insight into how the British public spend their time. It will reveal everything from work, sleep and eating habits, to how much time people spend socialising and doing leisure activities.

The UK Time Diary Study is set to go into field in April, following a pilot of 100 households and fieldwork will continue for a full year to ensure that it takes into account seasonal variation in activities.

Last carried out in 2001, when it was known as the Time Use Study, the survey is designed to be compatible with the Harmonised European Time Use Studies, allowing for cross-national comparison.

Sam Clemens, Director of Health and Wellbeing, NatCen Social Research said: “The UK Time Diary Study is a particularly important study because it has such a wide variety of research applications, from social research to economics, wellbeing and health. It has the potential to answer a range of important research questions, from the impact of the recession to whether we are busier than we used to be.”

“The survey also plays to NatCen’s strengths in delivering challenging research; our skilled interviewers who engage with the public on the doorstep and our researchers seasoned in large-scale survey diaries.”

For more information, please contact naomi.joyner@natcen.ac.uk  020 7549 9550 / 07734 960 069

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Notes to Editors

NatCen Social Research is an independent, not for profit organisation. We believe that social research has the power to make life better. By really understanding the complexity of people’s lives and what they think about the issues that affect them, we give the public a powerful and influential role in shaping decisions and services that can make a difference to everyone.

The UK Time Diary Study will be designed to be compatible both with the previous UK Time Use study carried out in 2000-1 and other European studies that have been or are being carried out in a range of countries since 2008. Time Use studies are carried out across the world and provide rich data on how people spend their time.