In a survey of how time is spent in 10 European countries, French men came out worst relative to sharing domestic chores.

In fact, they devote about half the time women do to tasks such as housework, childcare, gardening, repairs and shopping.

The European Union statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday the average French man spends an hour and 53 minutes a day on such things, nearly half an hour less than his Swedish counterpart, who was the most helpful in the study

The figures compared working adults in Belgium, Britain, Germany, Estonia, France, Hungary, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and non-EU member Norway.

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German women, the least keen on domestic chores, spent 73 minutes a day less on them than Slovenian women - who averaged four hours 24 minutes.

In all countries, men spent longer out at work than women, and women managed to sneak in a few extra minutes of sleep time.

French of both sexes slept the most - around half an hour more than Swedes who averaged around eight hours a night.

Television used up most free time, regardless of nationality or gender, with socialising the second leisure activity for all.

Hungarians spend just over half their free time glued to TV or videos - more than anyone else.