The time use domain framework is based on the Social Theory of Time, and is comprised of four dimensions: time, timing, tempo, and temporality. The time dimension includes indicators that capture the amount of time spent on specific activities. Indicators in the timing dimension look at when activities occur during the day. This is related to how much “control” Canadians have over their time. Tempo focuses on how time is experienced in terms of pace (fast, slow, intense, relaxed, etc.). Finally, temporality refers to the natural rhythms associated with daily, weekly, or annual routines that are largely dependent on biological or seasonal changes. Taken together, these four dimensions allow us to gain a broader perspective of the experience, meaning, and complexity of time.
Indicators in the Time dimension show how much time Canadians spend each day on specific activities that may be beneficial (or detrimental) to wellbeing. This also helps us to identify how time use differs between groups based on factors such as gender, age, or socioeconomic status.
The indicators in the Timing dimension look at when activities occur during the day, and how easy or difficult it might be for Canadians to schedule activities like work, leisure, meals, or volunteer commitments. Having some control over the timing of daily activities is known to contribute to a person’s overall quality of life.
Indicators in the Tempo dimension focus on the pace of activities, and whether it is experienced as fast, slow, relaxing, or stressful. Tempo is often dependent on the number of commitments and responsibilities in a person’s life, and whether they feel they have enough time for all of them. The tempo of activities can be a major contributor to feelings of work-life balance or stress.
Indicators in the Temporality dimension focus on the natural rhythms associated with time such as circadian (sleep/wake) rhythm, transitions from day to night, and activities associated with the changing of the seasons.