Skift Take

Taking time for daily travels - whether to a cafe, park, or bike ride - is an important indicator of work-life balance and have significant impacts on the movement and culture of a city.

Workers in Denmark have the most daily leisure time of any of their European neighbors. Even if Danes spent 10 hours a day eating and sleeping, they’d still have just over six hours to watch TV, take a bike ride, or visit a nearby town.

The same goes for residents of Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Norway where residents have more than 15.5 hours devoted to leisure and personal care a day, according to a new interactive index from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The index defines leisure and personal care as time spent eating, sleeping, socializing, engaging in a hobby, or TV and computer use.

European countries dominate the top of the list, but overworked Americans might be surprised to find that residents in several countries including Japan, Canada, and Mexico have less free time than them.

There was only a small variation in leisure time between countries; 86 percent of residents have between 14 and 16 hours of free time outside of work each day.

The data is by no means comprehensive; countries involved in the survey only include the 34 members of the OECD plus Brazil and Russia.OECD Free Time Index

Country Leisure and personal time (hours/day)
Denmark 16.06
Spain 15.85
Belgium 15.71
Netherlands 15.66
Norway 15.56
France 15.33
Germany 15.31
Ireland 15.18
Sweden 15.11
Luxembourg 15.05
Hungary 14.9
Finland 14.89
Italy 14.89
New Zealand 14.87
Russia 14.84
Brazil 14.84
UK 14.83
Switzerland 14.78
Slovakia 14.78
Portugal 14.71
Greece 14.65
Korea 14.63
Slovenia 14.62
Austria 14.46
Australia 14.41
Czech 14.34
USA 14.27
Canada 14.25
Estonia 14.2
Poland 14.2
Iceland 14.06
Japan 13.96
Israel 13.81
Chile 13.66
Mexico 12.66
Turkey 11.73

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Tags: denmark, spain, vacations

Photo credit: Danes ride their bikes through Torvegade København, Denmark. Stig Nygaard / Flickr

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