Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Reduce screen time, people told

Nearly one in five adults spent half a day or more in front of a television, computer or laptop, tablet, smart phone or video games player

Most people in Northern Ireland spent 20 years of their lives in front of a screen, it was revealed.

Almost three quarters of adults (74 per cent) devoted at least six hours a day to viewing, gaming, internet surfing or working, which works out at 91 days a year.

Nearly one in five adults (18 per cent) spent half a day or more in front of a television, computer or laptop, tablet, smart phone or video games player, research for National Lottery Good Causes showed.

Jackie O'Sullivan, spokeswoman for the organisation, said: "Screen time has become an unavoidable part of modern life thanks to advancements in technology. Sitting in front of a screen in work or at home has become a regular aspect of many peoples' lives.

"But reducing screen time can provide significant benefits and boost our overall health and wellbeing."

Polling firm YouGov Plc carried out the online survey. Total sample size was 2,115 adults across the UK of which 52 were from Northern Ireland. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26 - 29 April.

Recent research by the Ofcom showed tablets have become more popular in Northern Ireland and more people did a variety of tasks online while watching television.

Ms O'Sullivan said National Lottery players raise over £35 million a week for good causes which provide a wide range of healthy activities. "There are thousands of Lottery-funded sports centres, parks, walking and cycling paths across the Northern Ireland. We want people of all ages to take up these opportunities and spend less time staring at a screen," she added. 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.

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