7 in 10 people struggle to limit the time they spend on their smartphones

smartphone usage

Proof that smartphones are so addictive that even the healthiest and most mindful among us struggle to control our screen time, comes from a new survey by Healthy magazine.

In a recent survey of Heathy readers, over 75% said they are preoccupied with their phone.

  • 73% struggle to limit the amount of time they spend on it
  • 45% experience negative feelings if they can’t use it because it’s run out of charge or they’ve lost it
  • 47% continued to use their phone even when it was causing a problem

And this isn’t millennials or teenagers we’re talking about – who you might expect to be phone-centric in their habits. Healthy readers are on average aged over 45 (78% are 45+) and are 96% female. They are focused on achieving health through a balanced approach to nutrition, fitness, physical and mental wellbeing. Yet nearly a third, 32%, said they have missed out on these kind of healthy activities, such as hobbies and events, because of their phone use.

Readers said they spend two hours a day on average on their phones. However, studies have found that we are poor at judging our screen time – the true result is likely to be twice as long.

Our survey was created with the help of Dr Daria Kuss, a cyberpsychologist at Nottingham Trent University, to unpick the idea of what our phones are doing to our wellbeing.

Smartphone use is a sedentary activity so that’s already detrimental to health,’ says Dr Kuss. ‘But also crucial is lack of engagement with social circles outside of the smartphone context. This may have a negative impact on relationships, self-esteem and loneliness.’

The survey article forms part of the ‘Safe space’ special in the relaunched August 2019 issue of Healthy magazine, a specially designed and curated section where readers can explore and improve their own mental wellbeing.

The survey questioned 1284 readers in May 2019. Healthy is the UK’s number one selling women’s wellness magazine, ABC 71,009 Jan-Dec 2018.

Find the August wellbeing issue of Healthy magazine on sale now at Holland & Barrett stores and selected newsstands across the UK.

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