Average adult spends nine months of their lives in a queue, study shows

Eight months spent queuing in a life time

Eight months spent queuing in a life time

An average adult will spend almost nine months of their lives stuck in a queue, research commissioned by the premium toilet brand Geberit AquaClean reveals. 

A study of 2,000 Brits shows we will wait patiently for food, the toilet, while doing the shopping or stuck in traffic for a collective two hours and five minutes every week.  

Over the course of one year that’s around 108 hours, or the equivalent of four-and-a-half days spent waiting.  

During the average adult lifetime of 60.5 years this is a staggering 273 days, or 6,554 hours spent queuing.  

Supermarket queues are one of the biggest culprits, taking up 29 minutes of our time each week, while the average person sits in traffic jams for a further hour.  

That supermarket stalling adds up to a staggering two months of your life spent waiting for the checkout.  

Brits aren’t complaining about how long they have to form an orderly queue for, however – seven in 10 state queue-jumpers or those who grumble have bad manners.  

Raffaela De Vittorio, spokesman for luxury toilet brand Geberit AquaClean, said:  “Britain is renowned for being an incredibly polite nation, and as such as we are generally happy to take our place in a queue and wait our turn, especially if its something worth waiting for – such as using the loo.  

“But the figures are quite astonishing when you work out how long this means we queue over the course of our adult lifetime – a lot can happen in a person’s life over the years.  

“This is fine if patience is your strong point, but for those people who are in a permanent rush, the time could be better spent elsewhere.”  

The poll shows the longest Brits are prepared to queue for is one hour and 19 minutes, and this would usually be when queuing for theme park rides, waiting for delayed trains or standing in line at the post office.  

Despite being patient, many people say they don’t feel they should have to stand or sit in any queue for longer than 10 minutes – particularly if they are waiting for absolute necessities, such as the toilet.  

But when they are in line, a sociable 68% will always strike up a conversation with those standing in front or behind, to pass the time. Six in 10 of us say the length of time they are prepared to wait will depend on how much stuff they are buying at the time.  

A high maintenance 14% of people expect to be served quickly if they are buying something expensive, while a further 31% of people say it doesn’t seem worth queuing for long if they are only spending a little amount of money.  

Of those polled, one in 10 people like to be served quickly so they don’t have time to change their minds about their purchase. 

Motorway queues are deemed the most frustrating for 28% of people, while a further 16% hate waiting for the toilet.  

One in 10 people dislike the airport check-in process due to the lengthy queues, and 6% are reluctant to wait when they want a drink at the bar.  

Traffic lights, airport security, nightclubs and supermarkets all come under fire for making people wait too long.  

De Vittorio said: “As the research shows, Brits are quite happy to queue for most things in life especially if it’s a memorable or luxury experience.  

“We’re firm believers that if you’re prepared to queue, then you should at least being queuing for the absolute best.”  

Each week:

  • Queuing for toilet 17 minutes 
  • Queuing for food and drinks on a night out 19 minutes 
  • Queuing in the supermarket 29 minutes 
  • Queuing in traffic 60 minutes 
  • Total 125 minutes 

Each year: 125 minutes x 52 weeks = 6,500 minutes or 108.33 hours or 4.5 days Average adult lifetime (age 18 to 78.5) 6,500 x 60.5 = 393,250 minutes or 6,554.16 hours or 273.09 days