Sometimes a long, tiring day at the office can lead to bailing on evening plans with friends – but this culture of cancelling appears to be more common than we might have thought.

A new study has found that a quarter (26%) of the British public admit to saying ‘yes’ to a social invitation, despite having absolutely no intention of attending.

This means that, as a result, around a third of plans made never actually take place.

So it seems that we are a nation obsessed with down-time.

The research found that 43% of people say they prefer a night in to going out, despite the fact that we spend around 23.9 million hours a week making social plans.

The surprising study, which was carried out by Privilege Insurance on 2,000 people, also delved into the excuses we make for cancelling on friends and family.

Results found 25% of people use the excuse that they are ‘feeling ill’, while 27% say they ‘have a family commitment’ and 17% say problems at work are keeping them from social plans. Other popular excuses include a sick pet, diary clash, sporting event, broken down car and house emergency. Sound familiar?

But it seems women are more likely to attend a social gathering than men.

According to the study, girls make it to 63% of all social gatherings, compared to boys who only make it to around 58%.

However, while women are the more reliable sex, 27% of them said they would skip a social event if they were worried about money. What’s more, the effort of getting ready is a key factor in women cancelling plans, with 12% admitting they sometimes bail because can’t be bothered.

Age also comes into play, as younger generations are more likely to ditch events in their social calendars. The study found that 16% of 35-54-year-olds said they would never cancel plans, compared to 13% of millennials.

Christian Mendes, Head of Privilege Home Insurance, said: ‘Our lives are busier than ever so it’s understandable why so many of us are cancelling plans to enjoy some much-needed downtime.

‘The research shows a large majority of us are unwilling to succumb to the social pressures of going out when in fact we’d rather stay at home.’

It appears to have been a week of eye-opening studies, as it was revealed on Monday that 1 in 30 have admitted to pooing in the shower.

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