How Do You Use Integers in Daily Life?

A few of the ways that integers are used in daily life are highway speed limits, clocks, addresses, thermometers and money. Integers are also used for hockey scores, altitude levels and maps.

Positive integers, or whole numbers, are used in many ways during daily life. Highway numbers are posted along with roadway speed limits. Integers are used to understand what speed to drive on a given road. Numbers on clocks are used to understand time and to set clock alarms. There are numbers on buildings and houses to identify addresses and numbers for floor levels within buildings. Maps utilize integers to provide direction and information.

Negative integers may be less obvious for use in everyday life. Some examples of negative integer use include the thermometer readings, keeping score in a hockey game, altitude and banks. While all of these examples use positive integers, they utilize negative integers as well. A thermometer uses negative integers to represent temperatures below zero. In hockey, when the other team scores on the first team’s line, it is a minus, but when the first team scores, it is a plus. Altitude that is below sea level is represented with negative numbers. Banks and credit unions represent debits with negative integers and credits with positive integers.