We can safely say that the notorious grind of modern day life is a cliché: maybe because every age in history, compared to the previous one, had always seemed more stressful to those involved. That’s why I’ve found the results of a research carried out by Maryland University sociologist John Robinson intriguing, to say the least.

Since 1970, he has been conducting an in-depth academic study on the way Americans spend their time. Surprise, surprise: from the data gathered by Robinson, it has emerged that Americans have more spare time available than what they had in the past forty years. Is it possible? Backed up by data, Robinson explains how, for instance, today more than ever, we tend to overestimate the hours we spend working. Mainly because working hours have become more flexible, we hardly see time-cards these days, yet we have more emails to check on our smartphones, at any time of the day.

It seems that we work more because despite being more tired, we are unable to switch off, always at the mercy of multitasking. It’s for a reason that – Robinson explains – we are sleeping more than we ever did. Interestingly, the data gathered also highlighted how women perceive life as more stressful, if compared to men: they have every reason to complain, as they are the ones taking care of the housework for an average 2h 10m a day, while men only do that for 1h 17m.