Society Magazine

34 Minutes: the Amount of Time the Average Family Gets to Spend Together Each Day

Posted on the 14 April 2015 by 72point @72hub

• New research reveals one in four parents feel too busy to spend enough time with their kids

• Long working hours, lengthy commutes and exhaustion are to blame

• When families do spend time together it’s often filled with non-active events like the cinema, television nights or computer games

• But the appetite for change is there as 86% of families say they are always on the lookout for activities they can do together

• New Highland Spring campaign, fronted by Judy Murray and backed by British Tennis, calls on 10,000 families to get active together this summer

One in four parents admit they’re too busy to spend time with their kids due to the all-too familiar pressures of modern day life, new research reveals.

A study in to the daily life and routines of 2,000 British families, showed long working hours, lengthy commutes and getting in from work exhausted has led to more than a quarter of mums and dads constantly feeling they don’t get enough time to spend with their children.

While eight in ten tired parents feel they don’t spend enough time with the children overall, for one in four mums and dads it is a daily challenge.

In fact, the average family gets just 34 minutes a day together ‘undistracted’ – time where they feel they actually bond together and catch up without gadgets or routines getting in the way.

That amount does rise at the weekends but still remains small – just one hour 37 minutes was the average amount of quality time that families get together properly, with just over three hours in a whole weekend.

The study, commissioned by Highland Spring, looked to understand the pressures that parents today face. It showed that with energy levels low and time at a premium, more than sixty per cent of parents said that, when they do get to do a family activity together, it’s normally something ‘non-active’ like a cinema trip, film at home or time playing on games.

Six in ten said they struggle to get the family together as a whole with just four meals a week eaten together as a family – often with the kids eager to get down from the table and back to their gadgets.

Highland Spring conducted the research to mark the launch of its ‘Everyone for Tennis’ campaign, fronted by Judy Murray and backed by British Tennis. The campaign calls on 10,000 families to get active together this summer.

Yesterday Andrea McQuaid, Head of Brand Marketing at Highland Spring, said: “This research shows that we are now busier than ever with long commutes and hectic individual routines. We know, we’ve been there.

“A third of parents told us that despite good intentions, they are simply too tired to be as active with their children as they’d like to be. But the appetite for change is there and now is the perfect time to act.

“86 per cent of families say they are always on the lookout for activities they can do together as a whole family and four in ten try to play sports or outdoor games together as a group.”

And, while the most common way to spend family time proved to be watching a film or television together, fourth on the list was outdoor activities, while making a conscious effort to put down the gadgets also made the top ten.

“That’s what our new ‘Everyone For Tennis’ campaign is about,” continues McQuaid. “We want to support and inspire 10,000 families to get active, adopt better hydration habits and have fun together.”

Results exposed working hours and keeping up with chores as the biggest blocks to family time, while the children preferring to watch TV was the third most common barrier.

More than sixty per cent of parents said that when they do get together, it’s normally spent in silence in front of the TV, at the cinema, playing computer games or glued to a mobile or tablet.

A fifth of parents regularly struggle to get their children out of their bedrooms or away from gadgets like consoles and phones, while more than three quarters of those studied were familiar with the problem.

Judy Murray, who is fronting the Highland Spring campaign, said yesterday: “The research shows there is a need to break out of existing routines and into more active lifestyles. Despite the struggle of the daily grind, families everywhere have strong appetites for outdoor games.

“Tennis can be played almost anywhere with a little bit of creativity and imagination. Our first “court” was our driveway at home, with two chairs and a piece of rope for the net, and the boys’ first “match” was hitting balloons to each other across the sofa.

“It’s a great way to develop your child’s physical and coordination skills. Always start simple and achievable. Success brings confidence, but be ready to increase the challenge when something is too easy. Be encouraging and demonstrate how to do things. Kids learn best by copying.

“With a range of Highland Spring Mini Tennis events taking place across the country this month and Wimbledon just around the corner, it’s the perfect opportunity to get active and into tennis.”


1. Watching a film
2. Having a meal
3. Watching TV
4. Taking part in outdoor activities or sport
5. Playing a board game
6. Cooking or baking
7. Playing video games
8. Putting all our gadgets to one side
9. Sitting down to discuss our week
10. Making plans for the coming week / month


Notes to Editors
For further information about the survey, samples and images please contact:
Laura Leveson or Richard Thiardt on 020 7257 6470 or [email protected] or [email protected]
About the Survey
OnePoll conducted the survey for Highland Spring on 2,000 respondents from across the UK.
About #EveryoneForTennis
The Highland Spring #EveryoneForTennis campaign is launching this month to help get more families active and playing tennis. Activities include Highland Spring Mini Tennis Month, taking place in schools, parks and tennis venues across GB in April 2015. Tennis venues will host free parent and child coaching sessions for the whole family.
To get the tennis season off to a swinging start, Highland Spring is also offering consumers the chance to win one of 1,000 swingball and family Mini Tennis kits.
About Highland Spring Mini Tennis Month
The aim is to promote tennis as a family sport by showing parents how easy it is to play tennis with their children. ‘Take home’ activity cards will also encourage them to continue playing as they develop their skills. This will help to increase the number of children and adults learning to play the game.
For more information visit or
About Highland Spring Group
Highland Spring Group, parent company of the Highland Spring brand, is the leading supplier of bottled water to the UK market.
One in every five litres of plain bottled water consumed in the UK is produced by Highland Spring Group.
Bottling 460 million litres of water a year, the Highland Spring Group produces brands including Highland Spring, Speyside Glenlivet, Hydr8 and a range of private label flavoured and unflavoured waters for some of the UK’s major supermarkets and food service retailers.
Headquartered in Blackford, Perthshire, the Group oversees four bottling plants in Scotland and Wales and employs over 400 staff. It has a current production capacity of over 700 million litres of water a year and has an available resource in excess of 2.2 billion litres a year.
Highland Spring Group’s turnover in 2013 was £97.7m
For further information on Highland Spring Group please visit and

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