Swiss favour TV over family

Reading the paper is a popular leisure activity for the Swiss Keystone

The Swiss like nothing better in their free time than watching television, an activity that comes way ahead of spending time with their families.

This content was published on January 13, 2005 minutes

This was the main conclusion of a Univox survey published on Thursday into how the Swiss spend their leisure time.

In the survey of 718 people carried out in 2004 in German- and French-speaking Switzerland, 80 per cent admitted that being a couch potato was their preferred leisure activity. Four-fifths of the population spends at least one hour a day glued to the television.

The Swiss are also keen radio listeners, 71 per cent said they tuned in everyday, while 59 per cent read a newspaper daily.

But Univox said that spending time with family – in its broadest definition – seemed to be less in vogue compared with a similar survey carried out in 2000.

Only 47 per cent of those questioned mentioned being with the family as something they enjoy. The results show that women are rather more keen on family time (52 per cent) than men (43 per cent).

The survey, carried out for Univox by the GfS research institute, also put into context the Swiss reputation for hard work and financial prudence.

More than 60 per cent said they went shopping at least once a week and allowed themselves at least one hour a day when they did nothing at all.

Other ways of spending free time included surfing the internet, playing sport, reading, gardening or going out.

Less free time

The survey found that of the 18 spare time activities listed, 14 were losing ground compared with the 2000 survey. Only surfing the internet, DIY and gardening appeared to be more popular.

Asked what they would ideally be doing in their spare time, most respondents said they would like to travel (82 per cent), followed by eating out and socialising (70 per cent).

Those questioned also said they would appreciate having more free time and money – a desire that was stronger than it was four years ago.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

The survey took place in September 2004 among 718 people - 75 per cent in German-speaking Switzerland and 25 per cent in the French-speaking part.

Univox is a poll which studies attitudes towards most aspects of life in Switzerland.

It carries out studies twice a year and the last survey into free time was in 2000.

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