Lonely Britain: Over half of families no longer have dinner together
30 September 2013
- Report finds home traditions struggling under modern pressures
More than half of UK households are ditching family dinners for home alone time, according to new research.
Now 59% of UK homeowners have dinner at a different time to the rest of the family, and 53% are snubbing the living room to watch TV in the bedroom, the study by Lloyds Bank Insurance revealed.
The Britain at Home report found that although the majority of homeowners live with a partner (90%) or children (54%), the nation is spending more time alone in the house.
Perhaps fuelled by the influence of technology such as tablets, laptops and multiple TVs in the home, more than one in six (16%) said they spend the most waking hours in the bedroom.
The kitchen renaissance
While a century ago the kitchen was purely a functional area for most households, it is now the most valuable room in the house, worth an estimated £4,909 on average.
A third (31%) of those polled said they spent the most time at home in the kitchen and over half (58%) now entertain friends there instead of the living room. UK homeowners have spent £413 on kitchen gadgets in the past year, with 41% investing in a coffee machine and 33% buying a bread maker.
Yet as the kitchen rises in popularity, the dining room appears to be falling out of favour. While two thirds (64%) of homeowners have a dining room, the vast majority (84%) say they usually have dinner in the living room.
Melanie Backe-Hansen, house historian and author of House Histories: The Secrets Behind Your Front Door, said:
“Our homes have always reflected how we lead our lives. In modern Britain it’s now common for our homes to contain more screens than people, and for members of the family to spend more time on their own after a busy day.
”It is fascinating to see modern life taking its toll on how we use our homes. Although nowadays living spaces in the home are less defined than the Victorian period, and far more multi-functional, it seems the tradition of families sitting down to eat together may be impacted by longer working hours, more hectic social lives and the growing influence of technology.”