Freetime without freetime?

Helmut Kohl, former German chancellor has once said that Germany is a big "amusement park" and that Germans don't know what it means to work. At the time of the quotation there were 4 million unemployed people all over Germany and they were very angry about that comment!

At the beginning of the last century we had a "working-society" with free time and today we have got a "free time-society" with "working-time". Today we have got more free time than ever before which doesn't necessarily mean that we have got more time than ever before to spend. In your freetime you have to do something senseful and if youwant to find a hobby which makes ense you have to think about it for a long time and then you`ve got "freetime-stress"- You must watch the latest moviei in the cinema and read the latest books to be up to date.

Germans like it to travel around the world. They spend a lot of money and time on travelling and on their cars. And if you still hve got time after this you could go to the fitness studio because lots of  Germans think that you must be more beautiful, slimmer and fitter than you already are.

We all know that freetime has got lots of different meanings. Scientists who concentrate on the topic of freetime activities differentiate between positive and negative freetime. Positive freetime is a time which we use to do things that we like to do, for example meeting friends, doing sport etc.. During the time which is called negative freetime we do things we must do for example buyingfood or being stuck in a traffic jam. Scientists say that sleeping, eating and washing are activities which don`t belong to our freetime.

What others think about our freetime

Sometimes it can be interesting to compare what older people think about "freetime" to what it means to today`s young people.We read an article about interviews students at a school in Kiel (which is a city situated in the north of Germany) had done with older people. This is what they had found out:

Lots of old people think that young people aren`t so enthusiastic and engaged now as they used to be. Old people have the opinion that their "youth" was much better than today. They don`t want to be teenagers today.

When they were young they spent their freetime in a different way. there was not so much technology. In the past teenagers did lots of sports and they didn`t get any pocket money - only if they liked to go to the cinema to watch a silent film. Today most teenagers couldn`t believe this, because a life without any pocket money is unthinkable for them. In the past lots of people were poor and because of this the kids couldn`t have any hobbies or couldn`t get a good education at school. They didn`t have so much freetime like today, because of the fact that the first part of the 20th century was influenced by two world wars. In the past the "teens" enjoyed their freetime more than teenagers today.

Cupstacking - a brandnew freetime activity


Sport stacking (sport stacking, speed stacking and cup stacking are more or less different names for the same activity) is a skillful sport. You need twelve specially formed cups and then you have to build up and rebuild a pyramid. When you stack, you have to do it very fast and without any mistakes. In the year 1980 these specially formed cups and this kind of sport were invented by an American who is called Bob Fox. Sport stacking is a subject at a lot of schools in America. Altogether there are 11 000 schools in the sport stacking program. This very trendy activity came to Germany in 2005. In september 2005 there were 200 schools participating in these programs and a year later this number has increased by six times. Many people also enjoy stacking in their free time. Sport stacking promotes the ability of doing something with BOTH hands, the coordination between hands and eyes and the general capability of reaction. This becomes clear as soon as you start with stacking.


In our brains we have a kind of "cross-over-circuit" because the left half of the brain controls the right part of the body and vice versa. Almost all the different nerves cross over in the brain. The connection between both halves is a kind of beam made of extra-thick nervous fibres called "corpus callosum" (that`s latin!). We learn and work the best when we have a good access to both halves of our brain and information can be exchanged via this beam called "corpus callosum".


The public competitions are organized by the World Sport Stacking association (WSSA). This association has carried out these competitions for many years.

A second association has developed who is called International Sport Stacking Federation (ISSF), it also carried out national and international competitions. The participants are between 4 and 73 years old. For these years a stack mat is used in the competition. This mat is especially invented for sport stacking. She can measure the time. Before the "stack mat" was invented they had to measure the time with a clock.


There are different disciplines. Three tasks which you have to do alone and two disciplines which you have to do in a team; they are called "double" and "staffel".

In the single fight you have to stack different figures by your own. In the double you would work together with a partner and in a staffel fight you would stack in a team. (E.g. at first you would stack and after you number two, then number three ....; it`s a stacking relay). The team who is the fastest would win the competition.

Media diary of the comenius group

All given times in minutes per day (average of all students of the Comenius-group)

   Mediamonday tuesday wednesday thursday  friday saturday sunday  week 
     TV  180    120      120    250   290    250   200  1410
     CD   10    10      10      0     0    10    0     40 
     PC   30    30      40     10   30    40   20  200
 magazines    0     0      10     10    0     0    0   20 
    books   10    10       0      0    0     0    0   20
    DVD    0     0       0      0    0     0    0    0
 telephone    5    5        5      5     5      7    10    42
    SMS    5     5       6      0   10     8   15   49
    Radio   30    20      30     25   15    36   14  169