2004 News Story

Study reveals leisure time problems for young Saudis

Young Saudis, both male and female, are facing a problem of what to do in their leisure time. A recent survey of secondary school students conducted by a researcher from Imam Muhammad bin Saud University in Riyadh found that 83 percent of those polled said they did not know what to do with their free time. The statistics contained in this study show how serious the problem could be if students are not given help in spending this time in profitable and beneficial ways.

Around 7 percent said there were not enough recreation outlets in the Kingdom; 20 percent said their families objected to the kind of activities they were interested in pursuing; and 14 percent cited financial constraints. The free time these young people have every day ranges from two to seven hours, with more during school vacations. When the students were asked about favorite recreation activities, sport came out top with 82 percent, following by reading with 59 percent, watching television with 48 percent, and killing time by driving aimlessly, 46 percent.

Much free time (40 percent) is spent with friends rather than family (39 percent). Almost half of those surveyed take no part in any cultural activities nor visit local literary clubs and societies. Reasons given include distant locations, desire to do what their friends are doing, and family objections.