Japan Data

Long Working Hours and Commutes Contribute to Japanese Fathers Spending Little Time on Housework

Society Family

A study by Japan’s National Center for Child Health and Development found that 36% of fathers of preschoolers spend 12 hours or more on work and commuting, and only 10 minutes each day on housework.

A research team from Japan’s National Center for Child Health and Development analyzed the data of 3,755 men with preschool children from 176,285 randomly selected responses to the government’s 2016 Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities.

Respondents who said they spent 12 hours or more on work and commuting spent a mere 10 minutes each day on housework or childcare. For those who spent 10–11 hours on these activities, the housework and childcare time rose to 40 minutes.

Comparing this to the pie chart below showing how long fathers work reveals that 70% of fathers spend at most 30–40 minutes on housework and childcare.

The research team found that, if we assume 10 hours are needed for activities like sleeping and eating and two hours for leisure and other activities, one should limit work to a maximum of 9.5 hours to leave 2.5 for housework and childcare. In addition, they recommend that beyond raising awareness of the issue among fathers, both companies and society at large must also better understand the importance of work-style reforms, working from home to reduce commute times, and encouraging employees to leave work on time.

(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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