mardi 24 août 2010

Women Spend Three Years of Their Lives Shopping

Women Shopping
It seems all of those hour-long jaunts to the department store and 30-minute trips to the supermarket really add up.

The Daily Mail reports that new research by OnePoll shows that over a lifetime, women spend a total of 25,184 hours and 53 minutes shopping for clothing, accessories, food, and household goods -- that's approximately three years total!

The stats break down as follows: Women take approximately 84 trips to the grocery store each year, totaling 94 hours and 55 minutes; they take 90 trips a year to shop for clothes (30 store visits equaling 100 hours and 48 minutes a year), shoes (15 store visits), accessories (18 store visits), and cosmetics and toiletries (27 store visits).

Plus, window-shopping alone accounts for 51 trips a year. (Um, we don't even want to know how much it would be if Internet browsing were figured in!)
The OnePoll research is based on a survey of 2,000 women who took an average of 301 shopping trips (totaling an average of 399 hours and 46 minutes) each year.

Considering that these women will shop for approximately 63 years of their lives, the damage equates to two years and 10 months of shopping.

Lest men be quick to judge, the Daily Mail points out that most women aren't just shopping for themselves but providing clothing, food, and other essentials for their entire family.

lundi 23 août 2010

Americans spend more energy and time watching TV than on exercise, finds new study.

Americans watching TV
– Americans spend nine times as many minutes watching TV or movies as they do on sports, exercise and all other leisure-time physical activities combined, according to a sobering new analysis by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
When looking at which activities contributed more to energy expenditure among Americans, the researchers found that driving a car, watching TV and working in an office outranked sports and heart-pumping workouts. The study is due to be released this month in its final form in the new peer-reviewed publication International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, but a draft is currently available online.
"This study provides a wake-up call for the nation, particularly in light of rising obesity rates in this country," said lead author Linda Dong, who received her master's degree in epidemiology at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. "A lot of people aren't fully aware of how sedentary their lives are. This paper shows that, as a population, leisure-time physical activities are at the bottom of our priority lists."
The authors point out that the study provides the first national scale, quantitative analysis of energy expenditure in the United States. The paper comes during an epidemic of obesity in this country, and at a time when federal health officials are reporting that poor diet and physical inactivity are quickly gaining on smoking as a cause of preventable deaths.
The UC Berkeley researchers used data from 7,515 adults questioned from 1992 to 1994 for the National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS). Those surveyed were asked to report everything they did and how long they did it during the prior 24 hours. More than 125,500 reports of activities were grouped into 255 categories that were similar in the energy required to do them.
The researchers used information on how many people reported doing each activity, how long they did it, and how much energy it took to do it. From this information, it was possible to estimate total energy expended on each activity.
The study found that, outside of sleeping, the largest collective contributor to energy expenditure among the population was "driving a car," followed by "office work" and "watching TV," partly because so many people reported those activities. In contrast, leisure-time physical activity, such as jogging or playing basketball, accounted for only 5 percent of the population's total energy expenditure.
When considering only the amount of time spent on an activity, the researchers found that, on average, Americans spent 170 minutes a day watching TV and movies, or nine times the number of minutes spent on all leisure-time physical activities combined. The average daily duration for driving a car was 101 minutes, nearly five times the amount spent on sports and other exercise.
The authors noted that cutting back on the time spent watching TV or movies would free up precious minutes for exercise. But they also put the blame on aspects of modern American life, noting that Americans work more hours per year than their counterparts in other developed countries.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, workers in the United States clocked in 1,821 hours in 2001, while those in Germany logged 1,467 hours. In addition, the proportion of workers who commuted 30 or more minutes to their jobs increased from 19.6 percent in 1990 to 33.7 percent in 2000.
"People are supposed to work in 60 minutes a day of moderate physical activity, but given the way our society is now, we don't have a lot of extra time on our hands to go out and jog," said co-author Gladys Block, professor of epidemiology and public health nutrition at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. "Maybe we ought to put more emphasis on integrating exercise and energy expenditure into our daily chores and things we have to do."
For instance, Block suggests sneaking more energy-consuming activities into our ordinary lives, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking the car farther away from the mall entrance. "They may not get the same cardiovascular benefit from those activities as from sustained aerobic exercise, but it may be enough to help with weight control," she said.
When the researchers looked at gender, they found that, in terms of the number of kilocalories burned per kilogram of body weight, the energy expenditure of women was only slightly lower than that of men. Women spend more energy on household related activities, such as cleaning the house or caring for children, than men do, but their total energy expenditure was similar on a kilogram for kilogram basis. Overall, men burn more calories throughout the day because they weigh more than women.
In fact, activities relating to household duties accounted for 33 percent of the energy expenditure for women compared with 20 percent for men.
"More women than men are still shouldering the burden of household chores," said Dong, who is now a doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Washington. "Men also have a larger variety of activities that contribute to their energy expenditure. That suggests that women are spending more time on certain activities, like taking care of children, than men, and less time on leisure-time physical activity."
Among ethnic groups, African Americans were found to have the lowest percentage of total energy expended in leisure-time activities. Even when work-related physical activity was taken into account, energy expenditure was still lower among African Americans.
"This could be a reflection of the fact that more African Americans live in low-income neighborhoods that are less likely to have parks and safe places to walk and exercise," said Block.
Middle America did not fare well when data was broken down by region. The authors found a greater percentage of energy expenditure for sports and other exercise among people who lived in the Pacific (Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada) and New England regions (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont) compared with those in the Central states (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska).
The researchers noted that the results represent a snapshot in time, and that certain activities may have changed since the survey was taken in the early 1990s. "There's no evidence that Americans have become more physically active over the past decade," said Dong. "If anything, we've become more sedentary with the rise in popularity of certain video and computer games."

Written by Sarah Yang, Media Relations

Brits spend half their lives communicating Mostly about the weather

media and communication
The average Brit spends almost half of their waking life using media and communications, according to statistics from the watchdog Ofcom.
Apparently UK people spend seven hours a day watching TV, surfing the net and using their mobile phones.
The figure is bumped up to nine hours because people multi-task on several devices. The survey found that the kids of today could squeeze in nine hours 32 minutes worth of consumption into that time.
Based on a survey of 1,138 adults the report also suggests that rather than dying in the wake of the online media onslaught, it television and radio is still alive and kicking.
Radio also held its own, the survey said.
Although listening times have gone down slightly, the number of people able to access radio services was at an all time high, at 91 percent.
Apparently the average person spending around 3.8 hours watching television every day.
Peter Philips of Ofcom said that it was the first time his organisation has mapped the totality of communications use over a day.
The annual Communications Market Report says that the average person spends around 15 hours 45 minutes every day awake. Of this time, it says, the average person spends seven hours and five minutes "engaging in media and communications activities".
The rise of mobile internet has untethered people from being in one particular place.
The number of people using their phone to surf the web currently stands at 13.5 million people. This has almost tripled since 2008, when the figure stood at 5.7 million, the report said.
Mobile data use has increased by 240 per cent between 2007 and 2009.
In Blighty much of this has been driven by Facebook which accounts for 45 per cent of all mobile web use in the UK, followed by Google at 8 percent
The report says that social networking now accounts for nearly one-quarter of all time spent online.
Internet take-up has now reached 73per cent in the UK, the majority of which is fixed broadband.

Extracted from by Nick Farrell

dimanche 22 août 2010

Multitasking Britons spend half their lives satisfying media

Satisfying media
Ofcom's annual Communications Market Report reveals that we now spend 45 per cent of our day using digital media and technology, and are getting better at multitasking between them too.

The average Briton spends nearly half their day using digital media and communication tools, often juggling several at the same time, a new Ofcom study has revealed.
According to the telecoms watchdog, we spend an average of seven hours and five minutes every day consuming media – or 45 per cent of our waking hours. That includes listening to radio, watching TV, surfing the web and communicating through smartphones and other digital devices.
However, the actually amount consumed is as much as nine hours and 32 minutes' worth, with more and more Britons juggling several different media at once to satisfy their needs.
Ofcom says around a fifth of our media time is now spent multitasking. Unsurprisingly it's the 16 to 24 age group that is leading the way, squeezing the same nine and a half hours of media into just six and a half hours every day.
However, the gap between the generations is narrowing, with the report revealing that the biggest rise in internet use was being seen among over 55s. For the first time more than half have broadband at home, and a third are sending and reading emails every day.
“Younger people have shown the biggest changes in how we use media – particularly using different media at the same time,” said Peter Phillips, Ofcom partner for strategy and market development.
“But the divide between younger and older people’s use of technology is starting to narrow as more older people are getting online and finding that things like email are very important to them.”
It's not just older generations that are seeing a shift in priorities, either, and in some cases the changes have been surprising. For instance, fully half of all adults surveyed said television would be the one thing they'd miss most if it was taken away from them – an increase from 44 per cent five years ago. More predictably, the internet has nearly doubled as the most loved form of media, up from 8 to 15 per cent over the five years, while mobile phones are also up slightly to 11 per cent.
However, one form of traditional media that has suffered is the hi-fi, with just two per cent of us naming our Hi-Fi equipment or CD player as our most prized technological possession – down from 13 per cent in 2005.
The rise of catch-up TV services and time-shifted viewing through digital video recorders has contributed greatly to television's stronger-than-ever status as Britain's favourite form of media. “Increasingly, mobile devices – especially smartphones – are used for multimedia, but live evening TV still remains the main entertainment event of the day,” Phillips said.
In terms of communications, smartphone sales are the key driver of the mobile media consumption industry, with Ofcom revealing that the average user spends around six and a half hours on the social networking site Facebook a month – far more than any other website.
But despite our increasing demand for media on the move, the good news is that for the fifth year running, we're spending less than ever satisfying it.
“Consumers are using communications services more – phone calls, texting and the internet,” Philips revealed. “Yet they are paying less despite getting more, partly through buying in bundles.”
The Ofcom Communications Market Report 2010 involved a survey of more than 1,000 UK consumers aged 16 and upwards.

Written by Martin James

Men spend a year staring at women

Men staring at a woman

Men spend almost a year of their lives ogling women, a survey claimed. 

The average man will spend almost 43 minutes a day staring at 10 different women

The average man will spend almost 43 minutes a day staring at 10 different women.
That adds up to 259 hours - almost 11 days - each year, making a total 11 months and 11 days between the ages of 18 and 50. 

But researchers found that the males of the species are not the only ones admiring the opposite sex as women sneak a peek at six men for just over 20 minutes a day, on average.
That adds up to almost six months spent admiring men from afar between the ages of 18 and 50.
Mark Ireland, spokesman for Kodak Lens Vision Centres, which carried out the poll, said: "Men are renowned for looking at women but it's interesting to find out exactly how long they spend eyeing girls up.
"A year of their life is a long time to spend with their eyes fixed on the opposite sex.
"However, men have their work cut out if they are going to impress a woman as they spend half the amount of time gazing at guys."
The poll of 3,000 people revealed the supermarket as the location for the most ogling, followed by a pub and nightclub. 

Women rely on the traditional "ogling hotspots" with pubs or bars their most popular locations.
But whilst the majority of men and women feel flattered at being gazed at, guys are more likely to enjoy it with 19 per cent saying it makes them feel happy, compared to just nine per cent of women.
Instead, 16 per cent of girls are just left feeling uncomfortable, while 20 per cent say it embarrasses them.
Over 40 per cent of women stated eyes as the first attraction whilst the same amount of men admitted their eyes were immediately drawn to a women's figure. 

But more than half of Brits have also been left red-faced after being caught looking at someone.
A third have ended up arguing with their partner over their roving eye, with one in 10 have even split up with a partner because of it.
The staring has worked for some with 35 per cent of Brits saying they started a relationship with someone they eyed-up.
The study also found that more than a third of Brits would miss being able to admire the opposite sex if they couldn't see, whilst another 71 per cent would miss their partner's face.
And 61 per cent of people are worried about their eyesight fading.
Despite this, two thirds admit they don't prioritise the health of their eyes, and 38 per cent haven't had their eyes tested for over two years.
Top five spots men look at women: supermarket; pub/bar; nightclub; work; shops.
Top five places women look at men: pub/bar; shops; on public transport; supermarket; work. 

Extracted from

samedi 21 août 2010

Love’s bottom line

Cinderella and prince charming
Love may be blind but not lovers – and in a competitive market, we adjust our standards according to what’s out there. In an extract from his new book, this economist reveals why

 It’s time to dispose of an age-old question. Do people spend their lives looking for “the one”, the person – or, less ambitiously, a particular type of person – who is the perfect match for them temperamentally, socially, professionally, financially and sexually? Or do people adjust their standards depending on what they can get? In other words, are the romantics right or the cynics?
I’ll admit that I can’t answer that question definitively – not even the most ingenious of today’s new generation of economists have devised an experiment that will prove whether people lower their sights in response to market conditions when it comes to marriage. But there is some suggestive evidence from the study of speed-dating, courtesy of the economists Michèle Belot and Marco Francesconi.
Speed-daters are able to propose to anyone and everyone they meet, and do so electronically after the event, so that the embarrassment of rejection is minimised. That should mean that, for most people, a proposal of a date is a simple, uncomplicated expression of approval and that nobody would propose a date they didn’t want accepted or hold back a proposal even though they wanted a date. Belot and Francesconi persuaded one of Britain’s largest dating agencies to release information about the activities of 1,800 men and 1,800 women who, over nearly two years, attended 84 speed-dating events. The researchers were able to see who went to which event, and who proposed to whom. It won’t surprise many people to hear that while women proposed a match to about one man in ten they met, men were a bit less choosy and proposed a match to twice as many women, with about half the success rate. Nor will it shock anyone to hear that tall men, slim women, nonsmokers and professionals received more offers. But what might raise the odd eyebrow is that it became clear from about 2,000 separate speed-dates (that’s 100 hours of stilted conversation) that people seemed systematically – and rationally – to change their standards depending on who showed up for the speed-date. They didn’t seem to be looking for “the one” at all.

For example, men prefer women who are not overweight. You might think, then, that if on a particular evening twice as many overweight women as usual show up, it will be a night where fewer men propose. Not at all. The men propose just as frequently, so that when twice as many overweight women turn up, twice as many overweight women receive offers of a date.
Similarly, more women prefer tall men than short men, but on evenings where nobody is over 6ft, the short guys have a lot more luck. Most people prefer an educated partner, but they will propose to school dropouts if the PhDs stay away. If people really are looking for a partner of a particular type, we would expect them to respond to the absence of such people by getting the bus home with a disappointed shrug, resigning themselves to spending Saturday night in front of the TV, and hoping for a better turnout at the next speed date. But that isn’t what happens. Instead, people respond to slim pickings by lowering their standards. Note that this experiment doesn’t suggest that people aren’t fussy: even the men turn down 80 per cent of the women, and the women are choosier still. What it does show is that we are fussier when we can afford to be and less so when we can’t: crudely speaking, when it comes to the dating market, we settle for what we can get.
Francesconi told me that, according to his estimates, our offers to date a smoker or a non-smoker are 98 per cent a response to – there’s no nice way to put this – “market conditions” and just 2 per cent governed by immutable desires. Proposals to tall, short, fat, thin, professional, clerical, educated or uneducated people are all more than nine-tenths governed by what’s on offer that night.
Only when there is an age mismatch do people even seem to consider waiting for another evening and hoping for a more suitable range of potential mates. Even then, the importance of preferences is still less than the importance of the market opportunity. In the battle between the cynics and the romantics, the cynics win hands down. “Who you propose a date to is largely a function of who happens to be sitting in front of you,” Francesconi explained to me. (He is a charming Italian who I imagine would do rather well if forced to participate in a speed date.) “In this case, that is largely random.” Now, of course, the fact that people seem happy to settle for what they can get when contemplating asking someone for a date next Saturday doesn’t prove that their standards are equally malleable when it comes to contemplating marriage. But we choose our first dates from among the people we meet, and we choose our marriage partner from among the people we’ve been on dates with. Moreover, if you turn down everybody on the marriage market, you’re going to die alone; if you turn down everybody on the speed-dating market on a particular evening, you get to try again in a few days, and the organisers will even pay for it. (People who make no proposals get a courtesy invitation to another speed date.)
If our standards for marriage are as inflexible as a romantic might like to believe, why do they become so stretchy on a speed date, given that the cost of maintaining those standards is so low? My suspicion is that since we adjust to conditions when dating, we also adjust to conditions in longer-term relationships.
That may be enough to put you off the economists’ analysis of dating and marriage already, but I hope not. Yes, economists think of dating and marriage as taking place in a “marriage market”, but that does not mean a market where husbands and wives are bought and sold. It simply means that there’s a supply, there’s a demand and, inevitably, there is competition. None of this is to deny that true love exists. But while love is blind, lovers are not: they are well aware of what opportunities lie ahead of them and they rationally take those opportunities into account when they are dating. They also make big, rational decisions to improve their prospects, or to cope when prospects look grim. Supply and demand in the dating market motivates people to work, to study and even to move in search of better prospects.

Tim Harford 2008 
Extracted from The Logic of Life: Uncovering the New Economics of Everything published by Little Brown

Some people spend their lives hoping for something

hoping for something to happen

Some people spend their lives
hoping for something to happen
that will change everything.
They look for power or love,
or the answers to their biggest questions.
I think really what they're looking for
is another chance,
some way to lead another life
where all the mistakes they've made would be erased
and they could just start over.
Nothing bad has happened yet,
and all their possibilities are still in front of them.

People come home for a lot of reasons.
They come home to remember.
They come home because
they've got no place else to go.
They come home when they're beaten.
They come home when they're proud.
They come home looking for a door out into their past
or a road out into their future.
They come home for a lot of reasons.
But they always come home to say goodbye.

Some people put a lot me work into their lawn,
as if a patch of green grass
was the most important thing in the world.
As if they thought that as long as
the lawn out front was green
and mowed and beautiful,
it wouldn't matter at all
what was going on inside the house.

Do you know the feeling
of daring yourself to walk across a dark room?
That way you're excited because you know--
you really do know--
that there's nothing there to hurt you.
Some people get to choose their dark rooms.
They get to look for places
where fear is only skin-deep.
But some people are nowhere near that lucky.

When everything in your life is right on track,
it's easy to believe that things happen for a reason.
It's easy to have faith.
But when things start to go wrong,
then it's very hard to hold on to that faith.
It's hard not to wonder whose reasons these things happen for.

What makes a man who he is?
Is it the wort things he's ever done
or the best things he wants to be?
When you find yourself in the middle of your life,
and you're nowhere near where you were going,
how do you find a way from the person you've become
to the one you know you could've been?

People move through their lives
sometimes without really thinking
about where they're going.
Days pile up,
and they get sadder and lonelier
without really knowing why they're so sad
or how they got so lonely.
Then something happens--
they meet someone who looks a certain way
or has something in their smile.
Maybe that's all that falling in love is--
finding someone who makes you feel
a little less alone.

Sometimes people come to a moment when
they think they've found that one last chance
to be someone else, and they go for it.
When it doesn't work out,
they spend the rest of their lives
looking back over their shoulder
at what might have been.