Poll: Many Americans Weary After Weekends

In the "Where America Stands" series, CBS News and our print partner, USA Today, are looking at a broad spectrum of issues facing this country in the new decade. Today, we hear about the state of the weekend..


More than half of Americans don't feel rested or relaxed at the end of the weekend, according to a new CBS News poll.

Sixty-three percent of those surveyed say they ask themselves "Where did the weekend go?" while only 34 percent say they feel relaxed and ready for Monday morning. Working Americans and parents of children under age 18 are even less likely to feel rested and relaxed at the end of a weekend.

While the weekends fly by for many, fewer than half (42 percent) of working Americans say they would give up a day's pay per week in exchange for a longer weekend to spend more time with family and friends. Fifty-three percent of Americans said they would rather keep their current hours and pay even it means less time with family.

Individuals at lower income levels are more unwilling (or perhaps less able) to give up a day of work, while women are more likely than men to sacrifice a day's pay for more time with their family.

Looking ahead, most Americans don't expect their relaxation time to increase in the coming decade. Of those surveyed, 39 percent say that in the next 10 years, Americans will be spending more hours working, while just one in 10 expect to have more leisure time. Half say the amount of hours they work will remain the same.

In addition, over six in 10 married Americans say they are satisfied with the amount of time they spend alone with their spouse on a typical weekend. However, nearly a third admit they don't get enough "alone time" with their husband or wife. Among parents of children under 18, this number rises to 51 percent.

(CBS)
When not alone with a spouse, Americans are also helping their children have fun-filled weekends. About half of parents with kids under 18 say they spend at least some time over the weekend bringing their children to and from activities such as sports, lessons, and hobbies, including a quarter who say they spend a lot of time doing this. The amount of time spent taking kids to and from various activities increases among parents of children between the ages of 9 and 17.

But despite the hectic schedules of most families, three in four Americans share most of their meals together on the weekends. Even those who reported spending a lot of time shuttling their children to and from activities say they eat most of their weekend meals together as a family.

More results from the poll:

• Four in 10 married Americans say they spend just as much weekend time alone with their spouse as their parents did when they were the same age. Almost as many - 36 percent - say they actually spend more time alone with their spouse than their parents did.

• When asked what their children like to do most on the weekends, go out and play was the top answer provided by parents (16 percent), followed by hanging out with friends (12 percent) and playing sports (11 percent). Other activities included playing video games, bike riding and going to the movies.

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Read the Complete Poll


This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,048 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone December 17-22, 2009. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
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