It’s estimated that the average adult spends around three hours a day on their smartphone, but new research suggests that cutting down on that screen time could be good for all of us. And it only takes a little break to see a big difference.
A new study out of Germany divided participants into three groups: one was told to avoid using their phones at all, the second was told to cut their daily use by an hour and the third group was advised to keep using their phones as usual. Researchers interviewed participants about their overall lifestyle habits, including how often they exercise, how many cigarettes they smoke and how satisfied they are with their lives.
And it turns out, changing their habits for just a week had long-lasting results:
- Four months after the study, the group who avoided using their phones altogether were still using them for an average of 38 minutes less a day.
- But the one hour less group seems to have even better results, using their phones as much as 45 minutes less a day even after four months. And this group also experienced improved life satisfaction, exercised more, experienced less anxiety and depression, and lower nicotine use.
- “It’s not necessary to completely give up the smartphone to feel better,” concludes lead study author Dr. Julia Brailovskaia. “There may be an optimal daily usage time.”