Free time activities of adults in England 2017/18

Watching TV is the most popular activity people do in their free time in England. At 91.5 percent, most English adults aged 16 or older that were surveyed between April 2017 and March 2018 said they watch TV in their free time. Other popular activities included spending time with friends and family, listening to music and eating out in restaurants.

Are younger generations watching less TV?

The same survey in 2017/18 showed a correlation between age and watching TV: 16 to 24-year-old respondents had the lowest rate of television viewing, with more of the older generation likely to spend their free time in front of the ‘box’. As technology changed, so did media consumption habits, with younger generations more likely to spend their free time online, browsing the internet and social media.

Leisure time well spent

Free time in England does not all revolve around media. Eating out, shopping and days out are still beloved activities which the leisure sector thrives on. Restaurant and café meals ranked among the highest average UK household spending on leisure activities, behind spending on package holidays abroad.

Share of adult population taking part in free time activities in England in 2017/18, by type

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Release date

November 2018


United Kingdom (England)

Survey time period

April 2017 to March 2018

Number of respondents

7,715 respondents

Age group

16 years and older

Method of interview

Computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI)

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Statistics on "Leisure activities in the United Kingdom (UK)"

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