It is no secret that as a nation, we spend an eye-watering amount of time scrolling through our phones, and a recent study by Lenstore has revealed that, on average, Brits spend three hours scrolling through their phones every day, amounting to an impressive 46 days each year.
The past two years have seen the rise of ‘doomscrolling’, which according to Merriam Webster, tends to continue to scroll through bad news, even though that news is saddening, disheartening, or depressing. To investigate the truth behind our scrolling habits, Lenstore has revealed the apps we scroll on the most, their emotional impact, and the psychology behind why scrolling can be addictive.
Individuals in the UK scroll three times the distance of the Eiffel Tower every day
Shockingly, Brits were found to scroll the equivalent of 914 meters on their phone every day. When comparing this to famous worldwide landmarks, this equates to three times the height of the Eiffel Tower and almost three times The Shard. Annually, Brits scroll the distance of travelling from London to Manchester, an astounding 333,610 meters.
19% of Brits admit to scrolling for over five hours per day
Whether it’s while you’re watching TV, eating breakfast, or on public transport, many of us are guilty of scrolling on our phones multiple times a day, with the average Brit scrolling for three hours daily.
However, taking a deeper dive into our screen time habits, it was found that 19% of individuals admit to spending over five hours per day scrolling. In comparison, 6% of individuals spend between seven and eight hours, the equivalent of an average working day.
The average number of hours Brits spend on their phones each day is broken down below:
Below 1 hour
1 hour – 2 hours
2 hours – 3 hours
3 hours – 4 hours
5 hours – 6 hours
6 hours – 7 hours
7 hours – 8 hours
Above 8 hours
When are we scrolling the most?
The research took a deeper look into the specific scenarios where we find ourselves scrolling through our phones most frequently. Scrolling while watching TV was found to be the most common (48%), closely followed by before you fall asleep (46%) and whilst having breakfast (41%).
Shockingly, 5% of singletons admitted to scrolling through their phone while on a date, along with 13% who scroll through their phones with friends and 10% while eating out at a restaurant. Our scrolling habits go far beyond just our bad table manners, with 31% of Brits admitting to scrolling whilst on the toilet and 8% immediately after having sex.
Over half of the UK admit to being addicted to scrolling
The survey revealed that 51% of participants describe themselves as addicted to scrolling through their phones. Scrolling addiction seemed to increase depending on which generation you were born in, with 86% of millennials and 82% of Gen Zs experiencing scrolling addiction compared to just 42% of baby boomers.
Why is scrolling so addictive?
Neuro-linguistic programming coach Rebecca Lockwood states: ‘When you post an update on social media which receives engagement, you are instantly hit with a shot of dopamine. Dopamine is one of the brain’s neurotransmitters that help send emotional responses to the body and see rewards. The body then takes action towards rewards. When it comes to social media, likes and comments are the ‘rewards’ that can become extremely addictive, leaving us endlessly scrolling without even being aware of it.’
For more on scrolling habits and tips on how to reduce the amount of time you spend scrolling through your phone, see Lenstore’s full article.