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Screen addiction taking hold of Britain

5th Awst 2013

We spend 23 years of our lives in front of a screen reveals new research for the National Lottery Good Causes.

The majority of adults (56%) spend at least seven hours a day in front of a screen, which works out at 106 days a year or 23 years based on the average life expectancy in Britain.[1]

The YouGov survey of over 2,000 adults also shows that:

• Men are more hooked than women, with more than one quarter of all adult men (26%) spending 12 hours or more a day, at least half their lives[2], in front of a tv, computer or laptop, tablet, smartphone or video games player.

• 35% of young adults, aged 18-24, spend 12 hours or more every day, at least half their lives[3], in front of a screen whether that is a tv, computer or laptop, tablet, smartphone or video games player.

• Almost one million young adults [4] (16% of 18-24 year-olds) spend at least five hours every day using their smartphone.
In the last five years, over £2 billion of National Lottery funding has been invested in community sport and health projects.

Jackie O’Sullivan, National Lottery Good Causes spokesperson, said:

“Millions of people are spending most of their lives in front of screens, which can’t be good for them. Our jobs may be a factor but there’s a huge number of screen addicts outside of work. National Lottery players raise over £35 million a week for good causes. This gives everyone a range of low and no cost ways of improving their health and wellbeing. There are thousands of Lottery-funded sports centres, parks, walking and cycling paths across the country. We want people of all ages to take up these opportunities and spend less time staring at a screen.”

Nodiadau i olygyddion

Notes to editors:

1. Average life expectancy in UK is 80 years, source: The European Health Report for the World Health Organisation, 2013.

2 and 3. Calculations made by National Lottery Good Causes.

4. Based on 2011 Census finding, published by ONS, that there are approximately 5.2 million people in the UK aged between 18 and 24.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,115 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26 - 29 April 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Since launching in 1994, The National Lottery has raised £30 billion for Good Causes across the UK in seven areas of funding: arts; sport; heritage; environment; health; education and voluntary/charity.

National Lottery players raise over £35 million for Good Causes every week. To find a good cause in your area, go to

For more information please contact Michael Thompson, Head of Media for The National Lottery Good Causes, on 07734 295745