News & Announcements

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New vacancy: Wellbeing and Time Use Research Fellow

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is looking to appoint a researcher with a strong grasp of quantitative methods, and a background in one or more of the academic disciplines of Sociology, Economics or related disciplines. 

The researcher will work as a secondment for the Centre for Time Use Research (CTUR), using their most recent Time Use Data (TUD) and primarily producing wellbeing statistics out of it. 

The applicant will have experience in analysing and managing time use diary data. Experience in the use of advanced statistical analysis packages is essential. Deadline is 31st December 2021.


CTUR awarded £1M ESRC grant for 'Time Use Research for National Statistics (TURNS)'

CTUR has been awarded a £1M grant from the ESRC for the project ‘Time Use Research for National Statistics (TURNS), grant reference: ES/V016644/1. The team will be deploying new technologies in the design of time use diary (TUD) surveys, which will contribute both to the development of a new continuous UK time use data collection strategy and to the construction of a consistent system of time-use based social indicators of population health, wealth and wellbeing. An innovative experimental programme for collecting TUD information through online, webapp-based, surveys will be used, and the TUD data collected will provide a new range of time-used based national-level economic and social indicators.

Examining Bahaviour changes

CTUR publishes audio book on 'Examining behavioural changes during Covid-19 lockdowns'

CTUR has just published an outreach audio book on the science communication channel, SciPod. It is based on their research paper, 'Using time use diaries to track changing behaviour across successive stages of Covid-19 social restrictions' published in PNAS.


Time use diaries and the COVID-19 crisis

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

Access our audio book on this on the Science communication channel SciPod

Read the press release by UCL Institute of Education, UCL

Read the publications in PNAS and PLOS ONE


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

Cover of Sociology journal

From Me to You: Time Together and Subjective Well-Being in the UK

Time together as a family is a crucial dimension of family life. However, its impact on personal happiness is not well understood. Giacomo Vagni uses the United Kingdom Time Use Survey 2014–2015 to study how time spent with partners and children affects daily subjective well-being. Overall, he finds that family time, couple time, and time alone with children contributes significantly to mothers’ and fathers’ well-being. His research shows that the activities that families share together mediate an important part of the enjoyment of time together but do not entirely explain this association. This suggests that beyond what families do together, families enjoy being together. Fathers enjoy family time more than mothers do. It demonstrates that the unequal division of labour during family time explains this discrepancy. It concludes by discussing the recent transformations of intimate relationships.

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.

diary photo

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


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 Telegraph (£), The Times (£)Mail on Sunday, The Sun, The Scottish Sun, The Telegraph (2, £) 

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