Americans spend about 42 percent of their waking hours looking at phones, laptops, TVs and tablets, a new survey suggests.
Assuming an average of eight hours of sleep a night, that means they spend six hours and 43 minutes a day looking at a screen, according to the study, which was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CooperVision, a manufacturer of soft contact lenses and Biofinity Energys contact lenses.
And it’s only growing, as 79 percent of survey respondents report that their screen time has increased in the past five years, with 41 percent saying it has increased “a lot.”
The study found that 49 percent of Americans feel society has become more digital and screen-oriented in the past five years. It’s no surprise that our screen time has increased as a result, especially considering that 74 percent of employed Americans use a computer at their job.
Another contributing factor to the uptick in screen time is that 33 percent of Americans also believe there is now a greater need to check social media than five years ago, according to the study.
For most Americans, the first thing they do every day is look at a screen, with seven in 10 Americans saying they check their phone immediately upon waking up in the morning.
Age plays a substantial role in the amount of time people spend on digital devices, with millennials being more screen-oriented than other generations.
According to the results, those aged 18-35 are nearly twice as likely to say they check their phone first thing in the morning when compared to those aged 55 and older (92 percent and 51 percent respectively).
And the contrasts don’t stop there. Over half of millennials (58 percent) also feel anxious and irritated if they can’t check their phone, compared to just 21 percent of those 55 and older.
But looking at screens so frequently can certainly cause eye discomfort, with the average American reporting they can look at screens for a little over four hours at a time before absolutely needing a break due to discomfort, and having to take a screen break three times a day on average.
Three out of four Americans agree that they feel they spend too much time looking at a screen, with 53 percent admitting to taking a break from their computer by scrolling through their phone, and one in four (27 percent) saying they frequently “dual screen” by scrolling through their phone while watching TV.
There’s also a chance your screen time is affecting how you feel.
Three in four (73 percent) report that looking at screens makes them feel physically tired, and 64 percent said they feel happier after they spend a long time not looking at digital devices.
But could it be affecting how you see? Over half (57 percent) of respondents who say they’ve had a noticeable decline in their quality of vision suspect it has something to do with their screen time habits.
Dr. Michele Andrews, a licensed optometrist with CooperVision, said the company's Biofinity Energys contact lenses "help people’s eyes better adapt so they can continuously shift focus between digital devices and offline activities."
"After one week of wear, eight out of ten digital device users agreed that Biofinity Energys lenses made their eyes feel less tired – one of many reasons they’re being prescribed by thousands of eye doctors across the U.S.," Andrews said.