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Article published the Tuesday 12 April 2011 - Latest update : Tuesday 12 April 2011

French spend most time shopping, eating and sleeping

A healthy dose of leisure time helps French people enjoy one of the longest life expectancies in the world.
RFI/Alison Hird

By RFI

France spends more time eating, sleeping and shopping than in any other country, according to a new survey by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The French sleep an average of 8.5 hours a night, says the OECD’s annual Society at a Glance report, making France the best rested country out of the organisation’s 34 members.

They also spend the most time eating and drinking: more than two hours per day on average. That’s nearly twice as long as Americans or Canadians spend consuming.

However, belying their reputation for culinary savoir faire, the French typically spend just 48 minutes per day cooking – less than the OECD average.

Less time in the kitchen means more time in the shops: the French spend 32 minutes each day shopping. Their closest rivals are the Germans (31 minutes) and the Canadians (30 minutes).

All this leisure time, plus the highest social protection spending of any OECD country (28 per cent of GDP), gives French people the second-highest life expectancy in the OECD.

Their relative quality of life doesn’t necessarily make the French any more generous, though: only 31 per cent of them do volunteer work, give money or help strangers, compared to the OECD average of 39 per cent.

tags: Food - France - Health - Shopping - Social policy
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