No fun: Americans mired in boredom 131 days a year, survey finds

NEW YORK — Feeling bored all too often lately? It seems that many folks might need to get out a bit more and inject some fun into their lives. A survey of 2,000 Americans finds that for the average adult, more than a third of their year is spent mired in boredom.

For the survey, the researchers defined a boring day as one that involved simply no fun at all. After averaging out responses of all participants, they calculated that Americans experience 131 boring days annually. They reached that number by converting the average “percentage of a typical week that is not fun/boring/dreaded” — which was 36% — into hours per week, or 60.48 hours. They multiplied that by 52 weeks in a year, then converted it into days: 131.04 boring or unfun days in a year.

Full-time, “adult” responsibilities, particularly work and parenting, appear to be sucking the fun out of American adults’ lives.. The results showed that 60% of participants believe their life is just too “grown-up.” In fact, 73% miss aspects of what they remember from childhood, such as spending time with friends (50%), fewer responsibilities (52%), and attending birthday parties (25%).

The survey, sponsored by bowling alley chain Bowlero, asked adults what they’d rather be doing other than work and day-to-day responsibilities. As it turns out, many people would rather break out their inner-child. About two in five (39%) respondents agreed they’d prefer a night out bowling instead of going to an exercise class. A quarter would rather spend the afternoon at the arcade than at brunch. And one in five would choose to have a sleepover with friends than going to the movies.

“Fun is really about the escape – breaking away from daily stressors and focusing on enjoying the moment,” says Colie Edison, Bowlero Corp’s Chief Customer Officer, in a statement.

When asked about their fun levels over the last three years, over 20% said 2018 was less fun overall than the previous three years. Many surveyed cited stress as a major role in their fun drought. About half of those surveyed (49%) found 2018 more stressful than 2017. Three in ten feel their average day is generally stressful.

As for what exactly is keeping us from having any fun, 36% agree the cost of a day or night of entertainment alone was enough to keep them home. Many others — 35% of respondents — are just too pooped out to enjoy some extracurriculars. Nearly a third (32%) have too much work to do. And for two-thirds of respondents, choosing an activity that everyone will agree on or enjoy is flat out too tough to do.

Despite so much boredom, the survey showed that Americans still spend an average of $303 each month on fun activities, or about $3,500 annually. For parents, that number balloons to about $5,000 on the year.

So pull the trigger on those plans you’ve been thinking about doing, finally, and have some fun.

The survey was conducted by market research firm OnePoll.

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Ben Renner

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