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Workers Catch Olympic Fever: One-in-Ten Plan to Watch Olympics While at Work


The opening ceremony not only signaled the start of the summer games in Beijing, but also the beginning of Olympic fever in the office. Twelve percent of workers say they plan to watch some of the Summer Olympics while they are at work, according to a recent survey by

Younger workers are showing more interest in watching the games while on the clock than their older counterparts. Sixteen percent of workers aged 18-24 say they will catch some part of the Olympics while working, compared to 13 percent of workers aged 25- 34, 11 percent of workers in both age groups 35-44 and 45-54, and 9 percent of workers 55 and older.

Comparing regions, 14 percent of workers in the West are more inclined to watch the Olympics while at work, compared to 12 percent of those in the South, 11 percent in the Northeast and 10 percent in the Midwest.

Only a handful of people can claim their current job as an Olympic athlete, but that doesn’t stop ordinary workers from dreaming about it. When asked in which of the Summer Olympic sports they would most want to compete and win a gold medal, workers said:

* Swimming (37 percent)
* Baseball/Softball (29 percent)
* Gymnastics (26 percent)
* Track and Field (23 percent)
* Volleyball (23 percent)
* Cycling (20 percent)
* Basketball (19 percent)
* Soccer (19 percent)

When workers were asked which Summer Olympic sport most represents their current jobs, they said:

* Volleyball: It’s a team sport (20 percent)
* Hurdles: There are a lot of obstacles in the way (14 percent)
* Marathon: Slow and steady (13 percent)
* Wrestling: I feel like I am in a holding pattern (11 percent)
* Weightlifting: You’re bearing all the weight (8 percent)
* Synchronized Swimming: My co-workers and I are all on the same page (7 percent)

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive® on behalf of among 7,960 US employees (employed full-time; not self-employed) between May 22 and June 13, 2008. Percentages for some questions are based on a subset of responses to certain questions. With a pure probability sample of 7,960 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.0 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.


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