Monday, July 26, 2010

He Ain't Lazy, He's My Louisiana Brother!

New data reveal that -- surprise! -- Louisiana is the country's "laziest" state!

In a new ranking by based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Louisiana claims the top spot as the country's laziest state.
To be clear, by "lazy" we do not mean lacking work ethic or engagement. Rather, it is a measure of leisure time spent doing sedentary activities compared with activities that require more physical effort, such as exercising and even working.
I chalk it up to the oppressive heat during the dog days of summer, and the lure of fried shrimp po-boys. More data:
While residents in developed areas such as New Orleans, a compact city with sidewalks, gyms, and outdoor events, have opportunities to be active, Louisianans in the rest of the state spend more time at sedentary activities than the average American. According to BLS data, for example, they sleep an average 8 hours and 44 minutes per day, watch an average 3 hours and 5 minutes of television, socialize for 54 minutes, and relax for 29 minutes. The average time spent working among all Louisianans — 2 hours, 41 minutes — is shorter than in all other states, according to the BLS data.

The average for the U.S. population: 8 hours, 35 minutes sleeping; 2 hours, 38 minutes watching television; 44 minutes socializing; 18 minutes relaxing; and 3 hours, 23 minutes working. Looked at another way, Louisianans over the course of a year spend on average 3,285 more minutes sleeping and 9,855 more minutes watching television than the national average.

In North Dakota, the least inactive state, people sleep 8 hours, 4 minutes; watch 2 hours, 19 minutes of television; socialize for 40 minutes; and relax for 22 minutes. The average time North Dakotans spend working is just over 5 hours.
Now what I want to know is what constitutes "average time spent working" -- because it seems exceedingly low for those of us who know that we spend more than 8 hours of the weekday working. If these statistics on average time working are true, I guess we have a clear indicator of why the U.S. is losing so much ground in competitive productivity across the world. But, my suspicion is that this category is classified in a way that isn't quite accurate, which makes me want to question the whole survey.

Regardless, we do like our slow pace of life here in Louisiana. That's true.


eric said...

I would imagine for the "work time" to make sense, it has to factor in a retired retired people and college students. Otherwise I don't know how they could come up w/ those low numbers.

Huck said...

Good points, Eric. I suspect that something like this is at work. Maybe they're even including children in the total population numbers. That would be a bit disingenuous, don't you think?