How many Canadians watch sports during work hours?

Publish Date: 01/08/2024
Fact checked by: Josh Miller

Ever find yourself checking out the latest NHL scores between meetings or taking an extra bathroom break to read the latest soccer news or basketball news? Well, you’re in good company. Over 60% of Canadian workers do it: following sports on the boss’s clock. The Grueling Truth checked out which professions engage in this the most, found the most dedicated fans for checking sports results at work, and even explored how many people have pulled a “sick day” to catch a game.

Here are some key findings:

  • 63% of Canadian employees take a peek at sports scores and matches while on the clock.
  • On average, we dedicate 49.8 minutes of our “work time” each week to staying updated on sports results.
  • Out of all professions, sales professionals are the most prone to this habit.

Despite all possible deadlines and important commitments, Canadian workers admit to regularly sneaking a peek at the latest sports news or scores during work hours. The majority, a whopping 39%, do this 2 to 3 times a week. Just over a third stick to once a week, while 14% confess to indulging 4 to 5 times a week. Moreover, over 1 in 10 surveyed (precisely 13%), admit to checking sports scores daily during work hours. The average time we dedicate to this weekly is 49.8 minutes. However, even that isn’t enough for some; 13% of respondents confess to having called in sick or considered it to catch a game.

Who checks sports results the most during work hours?

We also found out which professional group is most prone to snatching work time to check sports scores. Employees in the sales sector top the list: a staggering 80% of them admit to occasionally indulging in this. IT professionals come in second at 73%, followed by workers in engineering at 72%.

But how about the sports enthusiasts themselves? Which group of fans discreetly uses work time to stay updated on their favourite team’s developments and scores? A significant 79% of Toronto FC fans confess to checking sports scores during work hours, securing the top spot in the top 20. The second spot goes to the fanbase of CF Montreal, followed by basketball fans of the Toronto Raptors. Respectively, 75% and 74% of them occasionally interrupt their work for the latest sports scores.

When it comes to the places in Canada where workers most frequently check sports scores during work hours, New Brunswick takes the lead. 75% of workers there admit to occasionally giving in to this habit. Alberta and Nova Scotia share the second spot, with a percentage of 70%. On the contrary, Saskatchewan seems to be the least guilty, with only 47% confessing to doing so.

15% feel more productive after checking sports scores at work

What impact does that deep-rooted love for sports have on our work? A significant portion of the respondents believes it has very little influence. In fact, 74% think that checking sports scores, games, and news during work hours has no effect on their productivity. 15% even believe that it enhances their productivity. However, 10% think differently, stating that it hinders their productivity. And 1% even believes that it significantly hampers productivity.

What triggers us to check sports scores at work?

Lastly, we asked what the main reason is for checking the scores of our favourite sports teams during work hours. Almost 6 in 10 logically respond: wanting to stay updated on their favourite team. Nearly a quarter of respondents attribute it to boredom, while 9% chalk it up to stress relief. Finally, 6% do it to socialize, while 2% have other reasons in mind.


In December 2023, we conducted a survey among 2,127 working Canadians. Of all respondents, 54% identified as male, 45% as female, and 2% as non-binary. The average age was 33.4 years.

Find out what the legends have to say about sports this week....

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