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Survey: Koreans Work More, Sleep Less

Posted December. 28, 2005 03:19,   


According to a survey, Koreans work longer and sleep less than the people in developed countries do.

The National Statistical Office and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family released a comprehensive analysis of Korean living habits and reported the above on December 27.

Working Hours-

The average number of working hours in a day of Korean adults aged 20-74 is four hours and 57 minutes, which is one or two hours longer than working adults in the U.S. (three hours and 39 minutes) and those of Germany (two hours and 53 minutes).

The average number of working hours of Korean males is six hours and 21 minutes, and those of Korean women are three hours and 37 minutes. The averages are four hours and 22 minutes for American males and two hours and 59 minutes for American females. By age category, those aged 40-44 work the longest hours, which are, on average, five hours and 15 minutes.

Sleeping Hours Are the Opposite-

Korean adults’ sleeping hours are seven hours and 44 minutes a day, which are shorter than those of the U.S. (eight hours and 34 minutes) and of Germany (eight hours and 15 minutes).

The survey says that while Korean women sleep six minutes less than Korea men, American and German women sleep seven minutes longer than American and German men do. It is assumed that this is because wives wake up earlier than their husbands and prepare breakfast in Korea.

Korean males and females spend 36 minutes less on exercise and hobbies than those in Germany do.

Korean Husbands Hardly Care About Household Chores-

The average number of hours of domestic chores for Korean males were 46 minutes, which is a quarter or a fifth of the amount of time compared to American males (two hours and 22 minutes) and for German males (two hours and 43 minutes).

Korean females’ hours spent on doing household chores, on average, are four hours and nine minutes which are 30 minutes longer than those of German females. Korea has the biggest disparity in hours spent on domestic chores between men and women. This might imply that domestic chores are mainly on the women’s shoulders in Korea.

Kim Oi-suk, a professor of the department of home economics at the Korea National Open University said that working women are feeling double pressure in working at both their job and at home.

Full-time mothers spent five hours and 49 minutes a day on average on housekeeping tasks. The value of doing household chores for full-time mothers can be estimated to 1.11 million won monthly and 13.37 million won yearly.

Through With Studying-

Koreans spend 13 minutes on average a day learning foreign languages, computers, or taking lessons related to hobbies they are enjoying. This average is shorter than those of Americans (29 minutes) and of Germans (16 minutes).

By age, those aged 15-24 spend five hours and 19 minutes on the above activities which are longer than those of the U.S. (two hours and nine minutes) and of Germany (one hour and 53 minutes), but those aged 25-44 spend nine minutes, less than their American (10 minutes) and German (18 minutes) counterparts. This implies that adults who graduated from high school or college are making fewer efforts to develop themselves than those in other countries.

Choi Jong-hu, a professor in the department of statistics and information at Korea University explained, “According to the survey, while people living in Seoul spend the longest hours on extra-curricular education, those in Gangwon-do spend the least.”