SOURCE: Harley Davidson

March 07, 2006 11:38 ET

Women Suffer Due to Time Crunch

Study Reveals That One in Ten Women Never Make Time for Themselves

MILWAUKEE, WI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 7, 2006 -- Women today are in a serious time crunch. Between work, family and household responsibilities, they rarely have time to spend on themselves. According to a recent survey of 1,000 women, one in 10 women say they never make time for themselves and more than half only make time for themselves once a week.

"In today's busy world, women are often being pulled in several different directions, leaving them with little time to do what actually makes them happy," said Dr. Sheenah Hankin, psychotherapist and author of "Complete Confidence: A Handbook." "Yet by not taking time for themselves, women are missing out on activities and experiences that can help build confidence, promote self-respect and add excitement to their lives."

Today's Time Crunch

Three-quarters of women surveyed said that an abundance of obligations and responsibilities prevented them from getting some "me" time. Of these obligations, taking care of other people (37.5 percent) and work (31.5 percent) topped the list. However, after these obligations, one in ten women said they didn't spend time on themselves because of guilt.

If women were able to snag some time to themselves, they said they would most like to exercise (21.6 percent), treat themselves to some pampering (19.7 percent) and even take up a new hobby (18.7 percent). "By getting some alone time, women can feel fulfilled," added Hankin. "They'll also be happier while taking care of their daily obligations, knowing they have something to look forward to."

Benefits of Me Time

The majority of women surveyed said that spending time on themselves helps to make them feel more relaxed. In fact, a quarter of all women said the time they get to themselves also helps them feel clear-minded, exhilarated, empowered and even adventurous.

Given some free time, many women would like to spend it on a hobby or trying something new. "It's important for women to take on new challenges and keep themselves active," said Hankin. "By facing new challenges and building new skills, they strengthen their confidence and enrich their lives."

Call of the Open Road

But even with these findings, it seems more and more women are trying to make time for themselves by trying new activities that are challenging, exciting and fulfilling. For example, the number of women participating in the sport of motorcycling is on the rise, with women now representing one in 10 U.S. motorcycle owners according to the Motorcycle Industry Council.

"I've been riding my whole life and I can't imagine my life without it," said Karen Davidson, great-granddaughter of the founder of Harley-Davidson Motor Company and Harley-Davidson General Merchandise creative director. "Riding is my me time. It makes me feel relaxed and empowered all at the same time. I can tell you that there is no better confidence builder than mastering a motorcycle."

Davidson agrees that riding, like other hobbies, does take time and effort. "But I think women need to make a conscious effort to create time for themselves to do the things they love," added Davidson. "I love motorcycling...I enjoy the sense of freedom, independence and adventure that motorcycling invokes and donning that leather jacket and saddling up always adjusts my outlook on life."

Getting Behind the Handlebars

Harley-Davidson Motor Company has made it easy for women to pursue an experience that can be all their own.

Helping fuel the growth of the sport among women is the Harley-Davidson Rider's Edge program, which teaches basic riding skills at select Harley-Davidson dealerships across the country. Since the program's inception in 2000, more than 69,000 people have learned to ride a motorcycle, with women constituting 39 percent of those students.

Women can learn more about the sport of motorcycling and the Rider's Edge program by visiting www.harley-davidson.com.

Sheenah Hankin, is the author of "Complete Confidence: A Handbook" (http://www.sheenahhankin.com/confidence.php) (ReganBooks/HarperCollins). Born in England and now a proud American citizen, Sheenah received her graduate diploma in counseling from Aston University in Birmingham, and a Ph.D. from International University. She is a member of both the American Counseling Association and the Mental Health Counselors Association, and is listed in Who's Who in America. She has a practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

About the Taking Time for Yourself Survey

This research project was conducted in order to assess how women feel about taking time for themselves. The survey was conducted online with a random sample of 1,052 women between 30 and 54. All are members of the CyberPulse™ Advisory Panel. The Advisory Panel has been carefully selected to closely match US population demographics. Research was conducted in February, 2006. The overall sampling error for this survey is +/- 2.5% at the 95% level of confidence.

Harley-Davidson, Inc. is the parent company for the group of companies doing business as Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Buell Motorcycle Company and Harley-Davidson Financial Services. Harley-Davidson Motor Company produces heavyweight street, custom and touring motorcycles and offers a complete line of motorcycle parts, accessories, apparel and general merchandise. Buell Motorcycle Company produces sport motorcycles in addition to motorcycle parts, accessories and apparel. Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc. provides wholesale and retail financing and insurance programs to Harley-Davidson/Buell dealers and customers.

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