There are a lot of things we have to do on a regular basis just in order to exist. Between eating, sleeping, going to the DMV, and a slew of other tasks, we live pretty busy lives. Activities that seem like they only take a little bit of time can really add up over the course of our lives.
Here are some stats on how much of your time will be spent on everyday activities throughout the course of your life.
19 Years Brushing Your Teeth
While we all know that we're supposed to brush our teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, we don't always actually brush that long or even often. If we followed those parameters, every person would spend 79 days brushing our teeth in our lifetimes.
However, a study showed that the average person only spends about 19 days of their life brushing their teeth. Not brushing correctly or enough can lead to tooth decay and cavities, bad breath, and gum disease, so start hitting those two minutes.
476 Days Cooking And Preparing Meals
Eating is one of the essential things we have to do regularly in order to stay alive, and therefore cooking is a very important part of most of our lives. In fact, cooking and meal preparation take up only about 30 minutes of a person's daily activity.
The amount of time people spent cooking was longer in the past, but better cooking technology and refrigerators that allow for foods to stay better longer means that bulk cooking and eating leftovers is a much more viable and time-saving option.
One Year And Four Months Exercising
We all know that we're supposed to exercise regularly, but we spend on average only about 1.3 years of our lives exercising. Regular exercise is important for increasing bone density to help prevent osteoporosis, preventing heart disease, helping you sleep better, and helping to elevate mood.
Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week (or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity). Exercise can include walking, swimming, mowing the lawn, running, strength training, or dancing. Do whatever exercise you like and improve your health!
11.3 Years Looking At A Screen
The average American spends about 11.3 years of their life staring at a screen, whether that be their phone, computer, or the television screen. That includes 8.3 years spent watching movies and television shows.
At the current rate of use, people will spend about three years of their lives scrolling through social media, with about half of 18 to 24-year-olds checking their phone in the night after they decide they should go to sleep.
Eight Months Laughing
The average person spends about eight months of their life laughing. Apart from the general enjoyment involved in laughing at something funny, laughter actually has a lot of positive health benefits.
Laughing helps to relieve physical tension and stress and can leave your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. Additionally, laughter helps to boost the immune system by decreasing your stress hormones, which allows your body to increase its white blood cell count and improve disease-resistance.
3.6 Years Eating And Drinking
I know we're supposed to eat to live, but I truly live to eat. Food is one of the most interesting and delightful of the worldly pleasures, and the time we spend consuming it shows. In fact, 67 minutes of the average American's day is spent eating and/or drinking.
Between sit down dinners, scarfing down lunch at your office desk, happy hour, and brunch with your friends, you'll spend just over three and a half years of your life eating and drinking.
The Average Woman Spends 8.5 Years Shopping
We've all seen the "women shop too much" jokes, but the reality is that the average American woman spends about 399 hours shopping every year. Before we get super critical though, it's worth noting that much of that time is spent shopping for household items. Women on average spend almost 95 hours shopping for groceries every year and another 17.5 hours shopping for toiletries and other household items.
Still, women spend more than 100 hours annually shopping for clothes and another 40.5 hours looking at shoes.
4.3 Years Driving
There's nothing like hopping in the car, putting on some tunes, and taking a Sunday drive with the windows down in the middle of the summer, but driving also includes the drags of staying attentive and waiting in traffic.
According to a study conducted by the Harvard Health Watch, the average American spends 101 minutes driving every day. Over a lifetime, the average American spends 37,935 hours driving a car (about 4.3 years) and will cover about 798,000 miles—about the same distance it would take to drive to the moon more than three times!
92 Days Sitting On The Toilet
That's right — the average person spends 92 days sitting on the can, doing their business. While this is mostly an unavoidable task, some people do spend more time than necessary on the toilet by reading newspapers/magazines, scrolling through social media, or playing games.
If you want to spend less time on the toilet, make sure you're getting a healthy amount of dietary fiber and avoid bringing your phone or other distracting materials with you when you go to the washroom.
235 Days Waiting In Lines
We lose about 235 days (almost two-thirds of a year) of our lives waiting in lines. Between lining up for your morning coffee, waiting to board a plane, or getting in line for a ride for an amusement park, much of our life is spent simply waiting.
If you know that you're due for a long waiting period, consider preparing an activity to do in the meantime, like reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle to make the most of your time.
26 Years Sleeping
On average, we spend one-third of our lives asleep. If you're getting the recommended eight hours of sleep nightly throughout adulthood, you'll end up having slept for 26 years of your life if you live to be 80.
Sleep is one of the most important parts of our daily routine: it helps our bodies repair from the activities and stressors we experienced throughout the day, boost our immune system, and help solidify our memory.
Seven Years Trying To Fall Asleep
We may spend 26 years of our lives asleep, but the average American also spends seven years of their life trying to fall asleep between counting sheep and calculating how many hours of sleep you can still get if you fall asleep right then.
Some specialists recommend getting out of bed if you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes instead of tossing and turning, which can induce anxiety. Instead, try reading (but not from a screen), drinking a cup of warm tea, or listening to music, and return to bed when you start to feel sleepy.
21 Years Sitting Down
In the modern day, people sit for about 21 years of their lives. With increases in office jobs, driving as a main mode of transportation, and the amount of time spent sitting in front of a screen in leisure time, people are on average sitting more now than they ever have in the past.
This increase in sedentary time has led to more young people having heart attacks and strokes. If you work in an office, make sure you get up and move your legs more often and try to be more active in the evening.
248 Days Looking For A Parking Spot
Driving to the places you need to go is all fun and games until you come across a busy parking lot. Searching for a parking spot accounts for 248 days of our entire lifespan for the average American!
Consider carpooling, taking public transit, cycling, or walking when you're able as great ways to lower the amount of time spent on this activity. It's also significantly better for the environment.
17 Years Dieting
Weight loss and dieting comprise a $72.7 billion industry, and the market is forecasted to grow by 2.6% every year through to 2023. While weight loss and dieting goals are pretty common across the population, battling weight and body shape is more dominantly done by women.
In fact, the average American woman will spend 17 years of her life dieting, and that number is only projected to grow. Much of this is due to the rise of fad diets, diet-products such as "slim shakes" and "detox tea", as well as the proliferation of slim bodies on social media.
13 Years Listening To Music
Whether you're in the car, working with headphones, having a dance party in the kitchen, or blasting tunes during your workout, music is pretty common to our everyday lives.
With it becoming easier to keep your music with you at all times due to the introduction of streaming sites, more transportable devices to hold music, and bluetooth connection and aux cords in the car, we listen to a lot of music. In the future, these numbers are projected to rise as more accessible ways to listen rise up.
30 Hours Crying
There's nothing wrong with spilling a few tears throughout life, as we're probably going to end up crying (whether that mean tearing up or sobbing) for a total of 30 hours throughout our lives. In fact, it's estimated that the average person will cry about 315 times throughout adulthood.
Interestingly, a 2011 study showed that women cry an average of 5.3 times per month whereas men only cry 1.3 times every month.
136 Days Getting Ready
Fun tip for the guys: never ask a woman "if she's ready yet" unless you want to be yelled at. The average woman spends a total of 136 days of her life getting ready, and that doesn't even account for the 287 more days that she'll spend trying to pick out the right outfit.
In contrast, the average man only takes 46 days to get ready to go out. Men, just take your 3-in-1 shampoo-conditioner-bodywash and your 17 identical shirts and stay quiet.
Five Weeks Arguing
Arguing will take up about 35 days of your life, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Conflict is necessary for progress in a lot of situations, whether it be in your private or professional life.
In fact, a study showed that a little bit of occasional arguing is good for you if done for the right reasons and in a healthy way. Avoiding conflict is associated with more physical problems and anxiety.
117 Days Having Sex
Despite the time spent thinking and talking about it, it's pretty astounding to know that people on average spend less than 0.5% of their lifetimes actually doing it.
We spend about 117 days out of our total 29,000 days on Earth getting down and dirty, according to a global survey across more than 9,000 people that was conducted in 2016. If you're looking to be an anomaly amongst the data, you might need to step your game up.