How Disability Status Impacts One’s Daily Routine: A Data Visualization

A January 2015 New York Times article revealed how the typical weekday for a non-employed person differs from that of an employed person. Research also shows that disability status affects how people spend their day, mainly because people with disabilities are less likely to have jobs. The graphs below show how men and women ages 25 to 61 spend an average weekday, by disability and employment status. The broad patterns of time use are similar for people with and without disabilities once their employment status is considered. However, for activities that are less frequent, such as personal and health-related care, there are small differences in time use between people with and without disabilities. These small differences, even if they are just a few minutes long, can add up to several days over the course of a year.

Select the buttons below to view the figures or tables that show the time use of (1) employed women with and without disabilities, (2) non-employed women with and without disabilities, (3) employed men with and without disabilities, and (4) non-employed men with and without disabilities. View the tables or use your curser to scroll across the figures to get detailed comparative information about time use throughout the day.

With Disabilities
Time Use for (N= )

Without Disabilities
Time Use for (N= )

Data Source and Methods

Our sample consists of people ages 25 to 61 who responded to the American Time Use Survey from 2008 to 2013. The respondents accounted for how they spent their time from 4 a.m. of the previous day (a weekday) until 4 a.m. of the interview day. We classified respondents as having a disability if they answered “yes” to any of six disability-related questions, which asked if they had difficulty with hearing, vision, ambulation, cognition, independent living, and self-care. All percentages are weighted to be representative of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population. Statistical significance should be inferred with caution, as estimates are measured with error.

We did not account for many other factors that affect time use, such as age, marital status, and number of children. Please see Anand and Ben-Shalom (2014) for a detailed analysis that controls for some of these factors. The Anand and Ben-Shalom analysis was funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research in the U.S. Department of Education, through its Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics grant to Hunter College, CUNY (grant no. H133B080012-09A).