News & Announcements

Time use diaries and the COVID-19 crisis

Time use diaries and the COVID-19 crisis

Now including information on new survey data and links to publications in PLOS ONE (‘A new perspective from time use research on the effects of lockdown on COVID-19 behavioral infection risk’), and PNAS (‘Using time use diaries to track changing behavior across successive stages of COVID-19 social restrictions’).


Using time use diaries to track changing behavior across successive stages of COVID-19 social restrictions (now forthcoming in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA)

We present analyses of 24-hour time use diary records of the UK populations activities, their social context and their location, collected in real time from four successive waves of representative UK samples, both before, and during, the current COVID-19 pandemic. We show changes in behavioral response to social restrictions at three time-points during the pandemic, including across two nationwide lockdowns.

Read the UCL Institute of Education announcement

Motherhood penalty in UK

Earnings and Income Penalties for Motherhood: Estimates for British Women Using the Individual Synthetic Control Method

New paper on the motherhood penalty in the UK. Using the Individual Synthetic Control method, Giacomo Vagni and Richard Breen estimate the long-term earnings penalty of motherhood at about 45%.

The paper is featured on the The Daily Mail (online).

How do people spend their time

How do people across the world spend their time and what does this tell us about living conditions? - Our World in Data

Sleep, work, eat, leisure – at a high level most of us spend time on similar activities. But just how similar are the daily activities of people across the world? This is something worth considering, not just to serve our curiosity but because differences in the way we spend time give us meaningful perspectives on living conditions, economic opportunities and general well-being.

Photo of person giving short course

NEW! Short course: Introduction to quantitative time-diary analysis

This short course aims to introduce participants to time diary analysis, a multidisciplinary field which has made a sustained contribution to social science over the last 50 years. It is targeted at academics, doctoral students, post-doctoral as well as public or private sector researchers interested in studying the way people spend their time throughout the day.  It requires basic to intermediate prior knowledge of statistics and basic experience with statistical programming.

An extended report of findings from CTUR’s CAPTURE24 project has now been published in the Journal Sociological Methodology

This study compares self-report diary records of specific days with objective records of the same day constructed from wearable camera and accelerometer evidence. Results strongly supports the use of diary methodology at both the aggregate (sample) and individual levels. It provides evidence that time-use data could be used to complement physical activity questionnaires for providing population-level estimates of physical activity. It also implies new opportunities for investigating techniques for calibrating metabolic equivalent of task (MET) attributions to daily activities using large-scale, population-representative time-use diary studies.    DOI: 10.1177/0081175019884591

Key Research & Publications



How do you spend your time in a day? How many different activities do you do?

Penguin (Pelican series) book

Penguin (Pelican series) book

Publicity for Penguin and Major newspaper coverage which includes a list of media and academic reviews/appearances.

2014-15 UK Time Use Data Survey

UK Time Use Survey 2014-15

UKTUS, collected and managed by CTUR, formed the UK contribution to the Harmonised European Time Use Survey (submitted by the UK Office of National Statistics)

Annual Review of Sociology

The Social Structure of Time: Emerging Trends and New Directions

Annual Review of Sociology by: Benjamin Cornwell, Jonathan Gershuny, and Oriel Sullivan

Almudena Sevilla briefing notes

Almudena Sevilla briefing notes

Briefing Notes on Almudena Sevilla’s involvement with the Institute for Fiscal Studies survey on current Covid-related behaviour and policy issues. Link to piece on this in The Economist (paywall):

Using wearable technology to analyse daily travel behaviour 

Using wearable technology to analyse daily travel behaviour 

Using wearable technology to analyse daily travel behaviour written by Teresa Harms (UCL) Cate Pattison and Doina Olaru (UWA)

View all Research & Publications