Sixteen Hours, and Counting | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 20.10.2005
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Sixteen Hours, and Counting

Which is more important, body or soul? For Germans, the proof is in the petting. New research shows the average German spends three times as many hours in foreplay than in prayer.


The weeks go ticking down ...

"Where does the time go?" is a question most adults have asked at one time or another -- rhetorically of course. But a group of German scientists decided to answer it anyway. In doing so, they made some unusual discoveries.

"It would probably surprise some people to think they spend an average of six months of their lives sitting on the toilet," a spokesman for Geo Wissen magazine, which published a "life in numbers" report, told news agencies. The report tallied up how Germans spend their time over an average 78-year lifespan.

Eine schlafende Frau mit Teddybär im Arm

A lot of time in dreamland

While many bleary-eyed Germans would be surprised to hear it, the largest chunk of their lives is spent sleeping. A total of 24 years and four months takes place in la-la land. Also surprising, just seven years on average is actually spent at the workplace. Just six months goes to commuting (although anyone stuck in rush hour traffic may be hard pressed to believe it.)

Eating, cleaning, working

The study raises a question for those who may ever wondered -- say, after Thanksgiving dinner -- how food that took hours to prepare could be consumed in mere minutes. While cooking the family meals takes just two years and two months of a person's life, five years are spent eating and drinking.

Hausfrau mit Schürze

Woman ironing

In contrast, some things that seem to take forever are really just a flash in life's pan. Laundering and ironing add up to nine months; 16 months are spent cleaning. And those who have bought furnishings from Ikea won't be surprised to hear that five years is spent hammering and painting on do-it-yourself projects.

Let's talk about sex

Less productively, the average person spends five and a half years watching TV and four months playing computer games. The study failed to count more traditional recreation like reading, but it did address the oldest pastime known to man: sex.

Nonnen beten in der Geburtsstadt von Papst Johannes Paul II

Nuns in prayer

Six weeks are spent in foreplay, two weeks go to kissing, and -- amounting to just 16 hours out of 78 years -- the "good things in small packages" award goes to orgasm.

In contrast, Germans spend an average of two weeks of their lives in prayer. The study didn't note just how much of that time is spent praying for sex.

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