Survey: How to help optimize your waiting time for a healthier use

by | Nov 7, 2022 | Last updated Apr 14, 2023

November 7, 2022

Most weekdays start the same – with a commute and a wait for coffee. We also spend hours idle, waiting in queues, waiting for buses, waiting for deliveries. But what if we could optimize this time for a healthier use? 

Here at Noom, we’ve uncovered just how much time Australians spend waiting in our latest consumer survey of 2,000 Aussies. We discovered that:

  • Aussies spend an average of 427 hours waiting a year — that’s more than one hour and 10 minutes per day or the equivalent of flying from Sydney to London almost 20 times.
  • Among 16 everyday activities* where Aussies identified time spent waiting, they spend an average of 100 minutes waiting for their morning coffee or tea, 252 minutes commuting to work, and 232 minutes scrolling on social media each month.
  • Being put on hold while on the phone, waiting in queues and at traffic lights topped the list of activities people consider the least productive use of their time. 
  • Three quarters of people (76 percent) want to use their time spent waiting more wisely, but have failed due to a lack of inspiration or know-how (20 percent).

Through habit bundling — a Noom psych trick — there’s an opportunity to optimize your wait time by focusing on building new healthy habits. Habit bundling is a tool that utilizes your current habits or daily actions to help you find the motivation to create new ones. It is one of the smartest ways to change your habits using simple psychology.

Though habit changes don’t happen overnight, it’s much easier to create new, healthy habits when you bundle them with existing behaviors that your brain already knows well. Picking up a new habit doesn’t have to be daunting or a huge change, either. For example, listen to a meditation to help ground yourself for the day while brushing your teeth in the morning or riding public transport. 

The next time you catch yourself waiting in line or mindlessly scrolling through socials, consider the following psych tricks and simple ways to introduce habit bundling to optimize your time spent waiting and to help you achieve your health goals. 

  • Use the cue of reaching for your phone as a time to do some exercises.
  • While waiting for your takeaway coffee, go for a quick walk so you’re not standing idle.
  • Before you get in your car, do a standing yoga pose or stretch.
  • In between sets at the gym, read an article from the Noom blog, so you remember to rest between sets and get your daily dose of healthy tips.
  • Use the time it takes to do a load of laundry to do your yoga/exercises. When the buzzer goes off, your exercise is done.
  • Do some bodyweight exercises during cooking, such as counter push-ups while the water boils or squats and lunges while watching the pan.
  • While brushing your teeth, hold a wall squat for two minutes.
  • Add some leafy greens to your morning smoothie to help hit one of your five a day.

*Time Aussies spend each month waiting: 

  • Commuting or waiting for public transport – 252 minutes
  • Scrolling social media – 232 minutes
  • Waiting for food deliveries or takeaway to arrive – 224 minutes
  • Waiting for a parcel – 200 minutes
  • Waiting for food to cook – 184 minutes
  • Waiting for a dishwasher to finish – 140 minutes
  • Waiting for important emails – 108 minutes
  • Waiting for coffee or tea – 100  minutes
  • Waiting for your partner to get ready – 92  minutes
  • Waiting on hold on the phone – 80 minutes
  • Waiting in queues – 68 minutes
  • Waiting for computer updates – 64 minutes
  • Waiting at traffic lights – 64 minutes
  • Trying to decide on a film to watch – 64 minutes
  • Waiting for YouTube adverts to complete that you can’t skip – 56  minutes
  • Writing to-do lists – 44 minutes

About NOOM

Noom is a consumer-first digital health platform that empowers its users to achieve holistic health outcomes through behavior change. Founded in 2008, Noom’s mission is to help people everywhere lead healthier lives. Fueled by a powerful combination of technology, psychology, and human coaching, Noom is backed by more than a decade of user research and product development. Today, Noom’s platform includes two core programs: Noom Weight for weight management and Noom Mood for stress management. Headquartered in New York City, Noom has been named one of Inc.‘s Best Places to Work and Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Technology. Learn more by visiting


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