Having fun is no joke. It’s fundamental to our lives, and we are a society built on a foundation of fun.
The average American spends six hours a day having at least a little fun each day. Nearly one in five average more than 10 hours, according to a survey of 1,000 consumers nationwide, conducted last November by TSC, a division of Yankelovich Inc., for East Hanover, N.J.-based Ritz Crackers, a Kraft Foods brand.
Some 83 percent do something fun, and 63 percent say they are having more fun now than ever before. And who's having the most fun? Redheads, Republicans (42 percent compared with 35 percent of Democrats), people over 62 and married people are leading the charge in the frontier of fun.
"People everywhere enjoy Ritz Crackers and make them a part of everything from big parties to small celebrations and every day fun experiences," says Jim Low, senior brand manager for Ritz Crackers. "Because so many people associate our brand with fun, we thought it would be interesting to find out how much impact fun actually it has on the way people live."
As they say, the older you get the wiser you become; but you also may have more fun. The Ritz Cracker Fun-alysis found 43 percent of people age 62-plus have a lot of fun every day, versus 32 percent of people in the "echo boomer" generation (ages 18-28).
Spending time with family and friends is the favorite way of having fun for 77 percent of respondents; "a night in" is more fun than a night out for 45 percent; and two-thirds say staying in touch with old friends is more fun than meeting someone new.
If money doesn't buy happiness, it apparently doesn't buy fun either. When asked, "Which do you think most contributes to having fun?" "being in a good relationship" led the way (42 percent), followed by "good health" (38 percent) and "a good job" (8 percent). "Having a lot of money" trailed the pack (6 percent). Interestingly, echo boomers (ages 18-28) equate money with fun more than any other age group: 48 percent listed "money" as a 10 on a "fun" scale of 1 to 10, compared with 26 percent of baby boomers and 21 percent of Gen-Xers.
Fun is an important quality when choosing a spouse (87 percent), and 84 percent would rather marry someone who is a lot of fun than someone who has a lot of money. Not only that, 84 percent believe having fun can add years to your life -- (on average saying it adds 10 years), which coincides with research that finds happier people live longer.
Work seems to be a great place to get your fill of fun. Eighty-four percent of respondents who are employed say they have a lot of fun at work, which could be because a whopping 69 percent of full- and part-time employees think their boss is fun. Some 77 percent of employed people say the ability to have fun is an important part of choosing a job.
But, at the end of the day, 54 percent ranked making good money more important than having fun at work (versus 42 percent who say having fun is more important).
It’s notable 74 percent agree either strongly or somewhat that the ability to have fun is an important quality in a presidential candidate. But there appears to be a lot of ground the candidates need to cover, because while 55 percent of respondents think a politician is more fun than a root canal, 39 percent say having a root canal is more fun than a politician.
Of the surviving Democratic presidential candidates, Barach Obama garnered a 35 percent fun vote, Hillary Clinton got 27 percent and John Edwards received 19 percent. On the Republican side, John McCain picked up only 14 percent of the fun vote.
And what talk of money would be complete without talking about taxes, which evidently is a sore spot for some 22 percent, who would choose dying as more fun than paying taxes!
Take your own fun mini survey at www.ritzcrackers.com/openforfun.