Burnt-out Brits unable to relax and spend more than three hours each day online, claims study

David Harding
We spend hours each day online, the study found (Rex)

Britain has become a nation which has forgotten how to relax, spending too much time at work and on social media, according to new research.

Bupa says that more than half of us are now suffering burnout, manifesting itself through symptoms such as stress, fatigue, and illness.

The research found that only 5% of the nation takes time out during the day to relax – now preferring to spend downtime online.

Twenty years ago that figure was 60%.

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As well as spending more than 11 hours at work a day, including travel time, stressed Brits spend almost an hour each day on average checking emails, browsing the internet and messaging via platforms such as WhatsApp.

“Keeping busy can make us think we’re being productive in the short term but it can have a noticeable impact on our health in the long term,” said Bupa’s Dr Luke James.

Researchers have labelled it as our “always-on” culture.

They found that on an average day, Britons spend:

  • 11.5 hours working (including working on our commute and from home)
  • 52 mins checking emails
  • 53 minutes looking at social media / the internet
  • 47 minutes speaking to friends / partners via Whatsapp / text
  • 46 minutes exercising
  • 46 minutes socialising

In total,  our average day is now 17.5 hours, more than three hours of which we spend online.

We spend 47 minutes each day talking on WhatsApp or text (Rex)

More than 1,500 people were surveyed.

To try and help raise awareness, BUPA asked various bloggers to take a 24-hour break from using social media or going online.

One, Bradley Simmons, said: “As a nation we are great at work and play, but we aren’t making time for one of the most important factors in that mix – rest.”