Welcome to CTUR

The ESRC Centre for Time Use Research is a world-leading, multidisciplinary research group based at the UCL Institute of Education in University College London (UCL). Our team of researchers – which includes sociologists, economists, and demographers – work with Time Use Data to investigate issues in areas including social life, work-life balance, family, gender, and economics.

The centre is also home to the Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS) which brings together more than a million and a half diary days from over 90 randomly sampled national-scale surveys, into a single standardised format. MTUS allows researchers to analyse time spent by different sorts of people in various sorts of work and leisure activities, over the last 55 years and across 30 countries. CTUR is also funded by the US National Institutes of Health and was previously supported by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council.



News & Announcements

Time use diaries and the COVID-19 crisis

Time use diaries and the COVID-19 crisis

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

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.


Using time use diaries to track changing behavior across successive stages of COVID-19 social restrictions

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.

Lockdown image

People became less risky in lockdown, research reveals

The UK population spent more time doing activities that were less risky during the first national lockdown in May and June 2020, followed by a slight, though not complete reversal in August 2020, new research from UCL Institute of Education (IOE) reveals.

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