3 in 10 Singaporeans don’t know how to relax, and half feel stressed out at the thought of doing nothing: Survey

The survey conducted with 600 Singaporean residents found half of them felt stressed out at the thought of doing nothing.
The Straits Times

You’d think people living in fast-paced societies such as Singapore would more than love to catch a break – well, you may be wrong.

In fact, three in 10 Singaporeans “don’t know how to relax”, a recent survey has found.

The survey – conducted by research house Asia Insight and commissioned by Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) – also found that out of the 600 Singaporean residents who were surveyed, half felt stressed out at the thought of doing nothing.

In addition, the survey findings released on Thursday (June 27) revealed that when 57 per cent of respondents take a break from their hectic lifestyle, they feel the time spent on such breaks could have been used for something more productive.

Sentosa Development Corporation

As a result of busying themselves with work, about 74 per cent of respondents said they wished they could spend more time with their family and loved ones.

Out of the 168 hours in a week, respondents only spend 2.8 hours of leisure time – excluding meal times – with family and friends, the survey revealed.

“That’s only slightly more than 1 per cent of our time a week”, SDC said.

Sentosa Development Corporation

During a media event on the same day the findings were released, various panelists highlighted the value of taking breaks.

Dr. Sin Harng Luh, assistant Professor at the Department of Geography in the National University of Singapore (NUS) said that many families have packed schedules, even on weekends, vacations and school holidays.

In a statement, she said that it was important for families to spend time together, even if they weren’t doing anything special.

“It is the small things we do together, like taking a break to spend time with each other, that builds strong relationships,” she added.

Meanwhile, many Singaporeans believe that when they leave no time for other important things in their life, they become more productive and appreciated at work, a sociologist from NUS, Tan Ern Ser, said.

“When we set aside rest time, we would not only become more productive, both in terms of quality and quantity, at work; but also be able to enjoy family time and me-time,” Tan added.

Spurred by the findings of the survey, SDC announced that it will be launching a new campaign that aims to spread awareness on the importance of making time for oneself and loved ones.

As part of the “Make Time” campaign, a 30-metre-long swing has been built on Palawan Beach at Sentosa to encourage families to spend time together.

Sentosa Development Corporation

More initiatives under the Make Time campaign will be rolled out over the course of the year, SDC said.

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