The Korea Herald


Solo activities, watching TV most popular forms of leisure in Korea

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Jan. 29, 2019 - 13:40

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With the Moon Jae-in administration stressing the importance of balancing one’s work and leisure, a government survey announced Tuesday found that most Koreans prefer spending their free time alone, watching TV.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism conducted a survey on 10,498 men and women aged over 15 and found that 59.5 percent said that they spend most of their free time alone. It was followed by 29.7 percent who replied “with family” and 8.7 percent who said “with a friend.”

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

The number of people who spent most of their free time alone marked an increase from 56.8 percent in 2014, while those spending time with family dropped from 32.1 percent.

As such, the most popular form of activity was watching TV. When asked to selected five things that one likes to do in his or her spare time, “watching TV” was rated No.1 with 71.8 percent, followed by “browsing the internet” with 36.7, and “shopping or eating out” at 32.5 percent.

When asked to choose just one, 45.7 percent chose TV as their companion to let off steam.

The survey also found that wealthier people were likely to enjoy more recreational activities.

Household with incomes under 3 million won ($2,677) on average enjoyed 16.6 different types of activities, while the figure was 19.2 for 3 million to 5 million group, and 20.7 for households with more 5 million won income or more.

In terms of age, people in their 40s were the most likely to take part in specific leisure activities on a regular basis, such as weekly hikes or playing with a sports team, at 55.7 percent. They were followed by people in their 50s, 60s and 30s.

Teens had the second least amount of free time after the over-70s, indicating the academic pressure put on the country’s youngsters.

For complete results, visit or Both pages are in Korean.

By Yoon Min-sik (