In this article, Questia Group focuses on the ’staying in’ trend, namely on preferred indoors leisure time activities. Our research was conducted through an online survey on our platform www.questia.ro covering 882 respondents, with a plus or minus 3% margin of error. The survey was active between 14 and 15 August 2017. Our key findings are presented below.

Overview

Staying in, nesting or JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) are some of the names attributed to activities done indoors, which have begun to gain ground in the last couple of years. The ‘staying in’ phenomenon can be captured easily even in some TV recent series like “Broad City”, in contrast to the previous series like “Entourage” or “Sex and the City” in which every night was set in a new bar, restaurant or art gallery. Nowadays, memes like “Netflix and chill” and phrases like “binge-watching” briefly suggest the pathologically homebound behavior.

There are numerous factors that contribute to the developing of this trend. Firstly, at the global level, students have the most debt of any group of college graduates, with the smallest job market since the Great Depression. In the U.S., student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category - only behind mortgage debt - and higher than both credit cards and auto loans. There are more than 44 million borrowers with $1.3 trillion in student loan debt and the average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt. Also, one in four European Union citizens who earn diplomas in Britain return home to their countries without paying back their student loans. In this sense, the total student loan debt in the United Kingdom has reached nearly $100 billion. Even in countries with free tuition, students are largely responsible for covering living costs and fees.

At the same time, the use of computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones has dramatically increased throughout the years, coupled with internet usage. The Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey of 2016 highlights that 61% of people check their phones 5 minutes after waking up. This number goes up to 88% for those who check their phones within 30 minutes, and 96% within an hour. On top of that, technology is allowing us to do pretty much anything we want without leaving the house. Additionally, technology can transform homes into “entertainment homes” (with the use of X-box, Wii console, home cinema etc.).

This trend started to gain ground especially after the 2008 recession, as younger generations spent more time at home: watching movies, playing video games, and crafting home-cooked meals. Staying in was a choice coming either from lack of money, or to decompress after a work week. At the same time, the emerging trend in wellbeing started to develop. In this sense, 'staying in' can be interpreted as a lifestyle choice, attributed to the “sober-curious”. Drinking or going out does not align with the feel-good factor that comes from cleaning up your diet, taking up yoga or meditation, or going on a run. These are just some of the top factors that contribute to the rise of the ‘staying in’ trend, throughout the world. Below, we present a series of data showing what types of indoor activities respondents engage in.

Findings

One of the most preferred indoor activities is watching TV (69.7%). This is followed by sitting in front of the computer (67.7%) and doing family activities (63.3%). Next, respondents said they prefer resting, cooking or reading magazines and newspapers. Practicing a sport or going to the gym (24.0%) has a lower percentage, probably because during summer people tend to be on holiday and relax.

indoor activities

When looking at differences between men and women, the results are more interesting. In this sense, women prefer cooking, reading magazines/newspapers, visiting family and friends as well as doing family activities. Resting is also a priority for women, but not so much for men. Men prefer sitting at the laptop, watching TV, or practicing a sport. This shows that even in their spare time women engage in more family activities than men. The findings are consistent with other studies that discuss women's free time and their 'double day' or 'double burden'.

indoor activities on gender

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