Teens spending more of summer studying and exercising, less time lazing

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Teenagers spend most of their summer on leisure, but they’re devoting more time to studying compared to teens of the past.

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A new Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data found teens spend more than four hours each week during July on homework or classwork. That's an average of 39 minutes per day, up from 22 minutes a decade ago.

Leisure activities, including time spent exercising, socializing or on screens, still account for most of teens’ summer days, though it is down overall by an average of 24 minutes each day compared to a decade ago, according to the analysis.

And while one might stereotypically think of a teen staring at a phone constantly, their summer screen time has actually dropped by an average of seven minutes compared to teens 10 years ago, the analysis found. Screen time still amounts to more than three-and-a-half hours of their day, however. Meanwhile, teens are exercising more, spending 18 more minutes each day playing sports or pursuing other physical activities.

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Teens also seem to be getting enough sleep. The analysis found they’re getting an average of almost 10-and-a-half hours each night.

Of course, summers aren’t just about sleeping and leisure. Teens spend an average of 78 minutes working and 35 minutes volunteering each day, according to the analysis.

Ocean waves on the beach at a summer resort, the surf at the Outer Banks in Nag's Head, North Carolina, NC, USA.

They’re spending that much time working despite a smaller percentage of teenagers holding jobs since the early 2000s, Pew found in another recent analysis. Last summer, only about a third of teens had jobs.

When they get back to school, teens will spend two less per day on leisure. They’ll also spend less time working and sleeping. Instead, the amount of time they spend on education each day jumps up by about four hours.

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