How Much Time Do You Really Spend Relaxing? Interesting New Research.

As professional adults, the expectation is that we have life pretty much figured out by now.

Our ducks are in a row. Our houses are in order. Everything is under control.



You work hard, but you can relax whenever you want. You laugh in the face of stress. Most high-flyers do… until one day the machine explodes and you burn yourself out. So have you ever asked yourself the question: How much time do you actually spend unwinding and recovering from your daily stress? And how much do you spend fooling yourself?


You may be surprised to learn about some new research that manages to quantify the number of hours a day in which the average person can really, truly relax.


Believe it or not, it is less than one hour.

It is less than an episode of Emmerdale – without the adverts.

It is just 36 minutes.


In fact, 70% of the 2,000 Brits that participated in the study said that they felt overworked.


30% said it had been six months since the last time they had been able to relax properly. Although to be clear, “relaxing properly” refers to relief from tension and the ability to “switch off” – cigarettes and alcohol do not constitute relaxation!

This has consequences for our performance at work. The average person makes 3 errors at work each week – or 150 errors per year. Of course, the higher the stress level, the more likely the person is to make a mistake.


Does 36 minutes of relaxation per day resonate with you?


Whatever your own number, the sad fact is that the advancements of modern society have meant that all too many people are not able to relax at all – a consequence of the “always-on” work culture, perhaps.


How many minutes per day do you really feel like yourself? How much time do you dedicate to simply doing nothing? Could, and should, you be relaxing more?


Genuinely relaxing is about being yourself. Letting go of the day, and moving past the trivial things that are constantly clamouring for your attention.


Here’s a thought: try relaxing for 37 minutes tomorrow and see how you feel afterwards. If you can stay the course, you’ll already be above average. Wouldn’t that be a good start?