20 Years in Numbers

20 Years in Numbers

To celebrate our 20th birthday, we’ve delved into 20 years of the average adult’s life and broken it down so you can see where your precious time is going… you might find some shockers in there!

With an average lifespan of 79.8 years, us humans have a finite time to “do life”. How we spend those years exactly is up to us as individuals, but there are lots of common activities between us that soak up our years, months, days, and hours...

20 years in numbers infographic

20 Years of Your Life in Numbers


Over the course of 20 years, the average person will spend a staggering 6 and half years sleeping; that’s three and half million minutes, or nearly 57 thousand hours! Some would argue that’s still not enough, for others it might feel like a loss of time, but restful sleep is imperative to our physical and mental wellbeing.

Now are you starting to feel guilty about all those ‘little’ naps you’ve been taking? Don’t, sleep is precious. We can certainly vouch for that…

Attempting to Sleep

Those 6 and a half years only account for actual shut eye. On top of this, we spend 1 and three-quarter years just trying to get to sleep. That’s 15,330 hours spent tossing, turning, yawning, and chasing the ever-elusive sleep. Yup, you read that right; 15,330 hours!


When we do finally fall asleep and find ourselves in dreamland, those dreams may feel short and quick to end. But adding these numbers up over 20 years results in a year and a half of dreams. That’s 548 days spent doing life in your subconscious. (We really hope you’re having dreams rather than nightmares!)


While some spend 84 days riding public transport, most of us use cars to get around. And whether you enjoy it or not, you’re spending 390 days behind the wheel. Of those 390 days, 61 of them are spent in traffic. That’s two whole months (or 87,600 minutes) sitting tail to tail, counting red lights, and howling along to your favourite ballads.

(These numbers are based on the average person, so those who drive as part of their job would likely do more than that.)


The time driving (and sitting in traffic) is, primarily, spent going to and from work. Work is a huge element of everyone’s lives – the largest in most cases. Did you know that a whole 4 years of your life in a 20-year period is dedicated to work? We agree - is that all?!

But work is often a means-to-an-end, allowing us to live life and enjoy time away…


If emails, calls, meetings, and reports are getting to you, it might be time for a holiday. Putting your ‘out of office’ on and jetting off to a sunny beach is mostly always on our annual radars. And it sounds even better when you realise that, in 20 years, you spend just over 3 years on holiday. That’s a lot of sand and sunscreen!

A popular mission undertaken in preparation for the summer holiday season is dieting. A study by Diet Chef has shown that dieting takes up 4 and a quarter-years of our lives. That’s over 37,200 hours spent resisting that sweet chocolate or tasty burger. Once on holiday, we tend to forget all about the diet and get into the holiday mood by trying the local delicacies. In 20 years, eating takes up 13 months of our lives and, when said like that, dieting might seem like a real waist of time!

On the Toilet

We spend 12 minutes a day on the toilet, and when tallied up this equates to 60 days in 20 years. More or less the same amount of time we spend sitting in traffic. Maybe Ford should come up with something that combines the two together? Probably best they don’t!

On the Phone/Social Media

Modern technology has been a huge benefit in allowing us more time to our own devices. Unfortunately, those devices are our phones. In a 20-year period, the average person spends nearly 796 days glued to their smartphone. That’s 26 months of scrolling, TikTok, and ghosting. If you use your phone before bed, you might find yourself struggling to sleep…

Now that phones can do nearly everything a computer can do (and more!), using your phone to browse social media has become the most popular way to satisfy your digital social needs. You might think you use social media sparingly, but the average person spends roughly 24 weeks opening those apps. Yikes!

Watching TV

The way we watch TV has changed considerably over the last few years, with a shift towards using our computers and phones. Bingeing series after series is easier than ever, with the latest Netflix drama now at the tips of our fingers.

Because of this, it’s likely to make the number of hours of TV watched on average rise, but as it currently stands, over the course the 20 years in an adult’s life, 1.3 million minutes are spent watching TV. That’s 958 days spent engrossed in fantasy worlds, intriguing documentaries, and alarming news. Is it worth it? Hell yeah!

Time to Go Out

When you’ve had enough of being a TV slob, it’s time get out there and be social. And part of the fun is getting ready.

Whether it’s a group ritual or a bit of personal pampering, the glow up takes time. The average person spends an incredible 546 hours getting ready. Which increases to 816 for the average woman, compared to a lesser 276 for men.


At the time, the extra shot or last train home is a great idea. It’s the next morning that’s the issue. A study by the University of Missouri-Columbia showed that women are more like than men to suffer from severe hangovers – even when having consumed less alcohol. So, when you consider that 5,040 hours (nearly 7 months!) of your life might’ve been spent in a state of weary hangover, it might leave you questioning quite how much you loved that late-night dancefloor boogie…


And with the hangover comes the “beer fear”, inducing an onslaught of emotions. But whether it’s the state of your hangover or something else entirely, we spend over 2920 hours in 20 years crying – that’s 4 months-worth of tears! Better stock up on the tissues…

And there you have it. 20 years of your life in numbers. Is there anything you spend time doing? Or have you realised after reading this that there's something you should spend less time doing.

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