That is, if you have time.
According to a Siena Research Institute Poll released Thursday, April 16, New Yorkers do not have as much leisure time as they would like during weekdays.
The poll indicates that 38 percent of New Yorkers say they have less than two hours to do a leisure activity during the week, with men having more time for leisure than women, said Don Levy, director of the Siena Research Institute.
Levy said researchers compiled a sample size that is standard for nearly all of their polls of 623 subjects statewide, resulting in a 3.9 percent margin of error.
All those surveyed were asked how much time they spend in leisure and what types of activities they do in their leisure time.
The way we defined [leisure] here was time spent neither at work, preparing for or commuting back and forth to work, or engaged in household responsibilities, said Levy. `[It is] whatever time is left over after things you have to do or think you have to do.`
What researchers found was that `New Yorkers don’t have as much fun as they would like to have,` said Levy. `We think it’s a little bit of a social statement.`
According to the results, 80 percent of the people surveyed said that it is through leisure that they bring strength in the relationships in their lives, Levy said.
`So, if you don’t get to do those things, you don’t have the wherewithal to build the strength in these relationships or be yourself,` said Levy.
The results showed that 54 percent of people said that on weekdays they have four or more hours to devote to leisure.
But on the weekends, 62 percent of men said they have leisure time, whereas 46 percent of women said they have leisure time on the weekends.
Of the people with children under the age of 18 at home, 86 percent said having the children at home is an enormous factor keeping them from doing what they want to do, Levy said.
According to Levy, the economy has also been a big factor affecting New Yorkers’ leisure time.
`People are worried about money now more than I can ever remember,` he said, commenting that many people answered on the poll that in their free time, they are out there looking for another kind of income, taking away time from their leisure time, as well as providing them anxiety.
`We asked about whether people like to go to restaurants or bars,` said Levy. `Thirty percent of people would like to do it more.`
Levy said many answered that the reason they do not do these types of activities for leisure is because they are concerned about the costs.
`This isn’t to say that people aren’t doing these things ` they are. But it’s the less active, more isolated leisure activities that are being done with the greatest frequency,` he said.
Another thing the poll revealed was that leisure time makes people feel healthier. `People told us that when they have leisure, they said it brings out the best in them,` said Levy.
The Spotlight asked a number of area business professionals about how they felt about the leisure time in their lives.
According to Erin Hart, 51, of Schenectady, a customer service supervisor for Prudential Manor Homes, if she did not have leisure time, her health could be in jeopardy.
`I would probably, like most people, end up getting sick,` Hart said.
Hart said she typically works from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., sometimes six or seven days a week.
`It tires me out when I have to work seven days straight,` she said. `It’s difficult; it wears you down.`
Still, Hart said she gets about three hours per night for leisure even though she is busy all day long.
When Hart does have time, she said she mostly just unwinds by watching television.
Levy said that when asked what activity most satisfies people’s leisure time, watching television was one of the most popular answers. Other leisure time activities depended on the gender of the subjects, according to Levy.
`There are some differences between men and women that are kind of notable. The things that women do at a statistically greater rate than men are shopping, engaging in prayer or meditation, speaking on the phone, or playing card games or board games. For men it is video games, physical activities, going to restaurants or bars or just sitting and doing nothing,` said Levy.
Further down on the list, Levy said, was spending time with family and even further down was attending public meetings and lectures for leisure.
For Cindy and Dennis Connelly, owners of Connelly’s Diamond Gallery, leisure time means golfing and going on vacations.
Dennis said that he probably gets about three hours of leisure time per day during the week. On the weekends, Dennis said, he and his wife work from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays and reserve Sunday for their `family day,` which Dennis said he does consider leisure.
`We play golf, or we usually have the kids home,` he said.
His children are 24, 22, 21 and 17 years old.
Connelly said the difference in his life if he did not have leisure time would be `absolutely huge.`
`You need to get away when you own a business even if it’s just for a weekend,` Connelly said.
Andrew Kohout, a project manager for Architex in Latham, said he does not think he would be able to perform the job he does if it were not for leisure time.
`I probably wouldn’t be that happy a person,` he said. `I mean, leisure time to me is kind of just chilling out.`
On top of being a project manager, Kohout, 28, is also an elected official in the Village of Scotia, which he said is the reason he does not have more leisure time.
`Any time that I’m not working, if I can just kind of zone out and watch some TV [I do].`
He also said he enjoys riding his bike and spending time with his wife in his leisure time.
Researchers found people had many different ideas about how to spend their leisure time, according to Levy, but one thing remained consistent ` they want more of it.