Society Magazine

Wait in Line- a Year of Our Life Spent in Queues

Posted on the 27 September 2012 by 72point @72hub

The average adult will spend the equivalent of almost one year of their lives stuck in a queue, it has been revealed. A study of 2,000 Brits shows we will wait patiently for food, the toilet, while doing the shopping or stuck in traffic for a collective two hours and five minutes every week.

Over the course of one year that’s around 108 hours, or the equivalent of four-and-a-half days spent waiting.

During the average adult lifetime of 60.5 years this is a staggering 273 days, or 6,554 hours spent queuing.

Supermarket queues are one of the biggest culprits, taking up 29 minutes of our time each week, while the average person sits in traffic jams for a further hour.

That supermarket stalling adds up to a staggering two months of your life spent waiting for the checkout.

Brits aren’t complaining about how long they have to form an orderly queue for, however- seven in ten state queue-jumpers or those who grumble have bad manners.

Raffaela De Vittorio, spokesman for luxury toilet brand Geberit AquaClean, said:

“Britain is renowned for being an incredibly polite nation, and as such as we are generally happy to take our place in a queue and wait our turn, especially if its something worth waiting for – such as using the loo.

“But the figures are quite astonishing when you work out how long this means we queue over the course of our adult lifetime – a lot can happen in a persons life over a years.

“This is fine if patience is your strong point, but for those people who are in a permanent rush, the time could be better spent elsewhere.”

The poll shows the longest Brits are prepared to queue for is one hour and 19 minutes, and this would usually be when queuing for theme park rides, waiting for delayed trains or standing in line at the post office.

Despite being patient, many people say they don’t feel they should have to stand or sit in any queue for longer than 10 minutes – particularly if they are waiting for absolute necessities, such as the toilet.

But when they are in line, a sociable 68% will always strike up a conversation with those standing in front or behind, to pass the time.

Six in ten of us say the length of time they are prepared to wait will depend on how much stuff they are buying at the time.

A high maintenance 14% of people expect to be served quickly if they are buying something expensive, while a further 31% of people say it doesn’t seem worth queuing for long if they are only spending a little amount of money.

Of those polled, one in ten people like to be served quickly so they don’t have time to change their minds about their purchase.

Motorway queues are deemed the most frustrating for 28% of people, while a further 16% hate waiting for the toilet.

One in ten people dislike the airport check-in process due to the lengthy queues, and 6% are reluctant to wait when they want a drink at the bar.

Traffic lights, airport security, nightclubs and supermarkets all come under fire for making people wait too long.

Raffaela De Vittorio continued:

“As the research shows, Brits are quite happy to queue for most things in life especially if it’s a memorable or luxury experience.

“We’re firm believers that if you’re prepared to queue, then you should at least being queuing for the absolute best.”


Queuing for Toilet17 minutes

Queuing for food and drinks on a night out19 minutes

Queuing in the supermarket29 minutes

Queuing in traffic60 minutes

TOTAL125 minutes

Each year:

* 125 minutes x 52 weeks = 6,500 minutes or 108.33 hours or 4.5 days

* Average adult lifetime (age 18 to 78.5)
6,500 x 60.5 = 393,250 minutes or 6,554.16 hours or 273.09 days


A third of married Brits describe sex as a ‘chore’ rather than an indulgence, research has found. The study of 2,000 married people found that sex is now ranked low in the priorities of modern relationships with a fifth confessing they often actively avoid the act.

The top reasons for avoiding time under the duvet with a partner were sheer fatigue, stress and work pressure and a general lack of satisfaction.

Worryingly, one in four went as far as to say sex was ‘boring’ and one in seven said they ‘would rather read a book’.

The research, commissioned by leading health and wellbeing mutual organisation Benenden Healthcare Society, found sex is boring for one in four and a fifth think their partner lacks the energy to make it satisfying.

Lawrence Christensen, Head of Communications & Strategy at Benenden Healthcare said:

“The strain of modern life is forcing married Brits to put their romantic lives on hold.

“Sadly, it appears that the statistics confirm the stereotype of sex lives taking a downward plunge within marriage – with it becoming a chore for a third of married Brits.

“Married couples are finding that their priorities are elsewhere and this is down to a variety of reasons, but the important point is that this is causing worry and impacting on mental wellbeing.

“Sex isn’t just the physical act but includes the expression of intimacy towards a partner and the statistics show that even then, Brits would rather read a book.”

The average couple has sex just five times a month on average, however that’s far removed from the ideal number – with Brits thinking 11 times a month is the perfect amount for those married.

A resigned tenth of the respondents say they just don’t click with their partner in that way anymore.

Sadly, one in twenty confess they just don’t think they love their partner anymore.

Worryingly, one in four went as far as to say sex was ‘boring’ and one in seven said they ‘would rather read a book’.

Over a fifth said they have to feel their partner has shown them affection that day before they feel like it’s an option, while a less constructive one in five have faked an illness rather than face getting intimate in the bedroom.

43% of respondents added that they think their diet has an impact on their sex life.

The majority of people said that their sex life inevitably faded after marriage – with the average married person saying the passion fades after just 1 year, 8 months and 23 days.

One in ten married people described their sex life as ‘non-existent’ while four in ten said it was ‘okay’ – just a quarter could say they had a good sex life.

A third of married Brits find sex a chore and sadly 40% of the study claim they don’t find their partner as attractive as they did when they first got married.

Four in ten think they and their partner are mismatched in terms of sex drive.

In fact, more than half of married people said problems or worries about their sex life have an impact on their life outside of the home, with many citing their work performance and temper with friends and colleagues as the main areas affected.

Three in ten Brits argue regularly about their sex life, and more than half admitted they have reason to worry.

A tenth of Brits worry they are failing their marriage because they don’t want sex, while a fifth say sex is not an important part of their marriage.

Lawrence Christensen continued:

“Whilst a fifth of Brits say that sex is not an important part of marriage, many are finding that modern lifestyles are preventing a functioning sex life even when it is important to them.

“This is leading to worries and arguments and placing great mental strain on individuals. Is it time for married couples to reconsider their priorities?”



  1. Too tired
  2. Stress at work
  3. I don’t feel attractive
  4. It’s too hot
  5. I want to read my book
  6. Not confident in my body
  7. I have too much on my mind
  8. I’ve got a headache
  9. I have neck or back pain
  10. It’s too ‘the same’ every time
  11. I don’t really enjoy it anymore
  12. I’m too full from dinner
  13. It’s too cold
  14. I don’t have enough time
  15. Sometimes it bores me
  16. I want to watch sport
  17. If there’s a film I want to watch
  18. I have too much household stuff to do
  19. I’m not attracted to my partner
  20. I don’t think my partner deserves it

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