Advanced Television

Study: Brits spend 51% of lives in front of a screen

July 21, 2021

A study by Uswitch analysed how much time Brits are spending in front of a screen and what effects this can have on wellbeing.

Brits have been in front of a screen now more than ever, whether it’s as a form of entertainment or simply the work from home lifestyle many are now used to. But how much time do we really spend in front of a screen?

UK Adults are spending over half of every day in front of a screen

The study reveals that the UK is spending 386 minutes (6.4 hours) using the internet every day, this is almost equivalent to an average shift at work.

Coming in second is watching TV, the study reveals that Brits spend up to 4 hours a day watching television. Watching television is part of a daily routine but many would never consider just how much time they actually spend on the sofa.

In addition, scrolling on social media and listening to music take up a lot of daily average screen time. The research shows that Brits spend an additional 109 minutes on social media and 75 minutes listening to music per day.

While Brits might not think twice about how much screen time they consume, the study reveals that in total, UK adults are spending 51 per cent of their time in front of a screen every year. Which means that for most adults the only time they’re not in front of a screen is when they’re asleep.

Brits watch nearly 1,000 hours of TV every year

The study reveals that Brits are spending up to 21 hours a week watching TV, which is equivalent to 997 hours a year. Despite the growth in streaming services, TV still holds its weight against the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

SVoD services came in second place with users watching 398 hours per year. This is equivalent to streaming for a solid 16 days without stopping.

Social media platform, YouTube, takes third place. Broadcast live TV and DVD have seen a decline over the past few years, YouTube has seen a surge in popularity which is why it makes the top three; Brits can spend up to 269 hours pear year on the app.

Gen-Z are spending up to 9 hours a day in front of a screen

With the summer break here and lockdown restrictions constantly changing, many children and teenagers will spend a lot of their time at home looking for a way to entertain themselves. The study reveals that children aged between 5 – 16 spend up to 9 hours a day in front of a screen, with socia media app TikTok proving hugely popular.

In addition to spending more time on social media apps, studies revealed that the percentage of Gen-Z who watch videos every day has doubled since 2015. From 24 per cent to 56 per centamong 8-12-year-olds, and from 34 per cent to 69 per cent among 13-18-year-olds. The study reveals that kids are spending the same amount of time on the internet and watching television, which suggests that they are doing this simultaneously which could have effects on their ability to focus.

Studies show that Gen-Z is aware of how much time they spend on social media, but are unable to limit themselves. Some 44 per cent of teens say that they check for messages and notifications as soon as they wake up. Social media gives teens a sense of belonging through puberty so it’s understandable that they gravitate towards wanting to be respected and admired based on the number of likes they receive on a photo, says the study.

Catherine Hiley, mobiles expert at Uswitch commented: “We are so subconsciously immersed in our digital lives that this research really highlights how much of our time is spent in front of a screen. With over half of our free time spent on gadgets, using your devices’ screen time notifications and settings can be a good way to help set boundaries and enjoy some time away doing other activities.”

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