• Busy Cardiff-dwellers struggle to spend 45 minutes a day with family and friends – and spend over an hour a week less with friends and family than the average Brit
  • Over a quarter say they ‘long’ to spend more time together
  • One in five admit to fibbing to family and friends to get out of social occasions

As the clocks change, the nights draw in and thoughts turn to Christmas, you might expect that it’s the time of year when we all gear up to spending more time with family and loved ones.

But a new study of more than 2,000 adults – commissioned by celebrated Somerset cheesemaker Applewood® to mark a new campaign to get friends and families together during the winter months – has found the average Cardiff resident is likely to spend under three-quarters of an hour a day (or just 3 hours, 36 minutes a week) of quality time with their family and friends during a typical working week – compared to a national average of 4 hours, 54 minutes a week.

The situation appears to have become so dire, in fact, that the poll found that over a quarter (27%) of those in Cardiff quizzed said they longed to spend more time with their family, while one in ten admitted they were now so busy that they didn’t spend any quality time whatsoever with their family and friends during the week.

And the winter season gives Cardiff-dwellers all the more reason for avoiding friends and family. Despite a quarter of us wishing we could spend more quality time with family and friends, many of us admit to being fair-weather friends (and relatives), bowing out of social occasions because it’s ‘too cold’ (21%), ‘raining’ (21%), or ‘too dark’ (11%).

Despite this yearning for quality time with friends and family (25%), it turns out that for many of Brits, this so-called ‘quality time’ often includes no interaction with one another at all. For almost one in five Cardiff residents questioned, any quality time spent with friends and family is most likely spent with everyone entertaining themselves separately, whether on their phones, iPads or computers.

What’s more, despite one in three Brits blaming the fact they lead ‘separate lives’ from friends and family as a reason for a lack of time spent together, it seems that one in 10 of us are more than happy to reject our nearest and dearest to indulge in a little ‘me time’. In fact, 21% Cardiff residents questioned have told friends they have plans to avoid socialising, prioritising an evening to themselves over spending time with loved ones.

“Our study shows that, despite us not feeling the most sociable when the evenings start to draw in, lots of us have a real desire to spend quality time in the company of our family and friends,” says Applewood® spokesperson, Lisa Harrison.

“We know that Brits are certainly pressed for time mid-week, but making time for socialising is really important to keep us feeling happy – there’s even claims it spending time with others can boost our physical health!

“It comes as no surprise that modern lifestyles aren’t conducive to spending time together – it’s not just the excuses we make in winter time, but the fact that when we are together we’re often on our phones or iPads.

“That’s why we’ve launched The Applewood® Hours Campaign. It’s all about encouraging friends and family to put down their devices and get together for some quality time,” Harrison continues. “It might be cold and blustery, but an evening in spent having a natter with friends and family might just be the perfect remedy for warming up a chilly day.”