Brits spent 41 days glued to phones in 2019

What Mobile
December 19, 2019

During 2019, Brits spent an average of 2 hours 43 mins (163 mins) glued to their phones every day, adding up to 900 hours or 41 days over the 12 months. 

Women spent over three hours (183 minutes) a day on their phone on average, nearly an hour (49 mins) longer than men do (134 mins), which is two weeks more a year. This adds up to a whopping 1,113 hours, or 46 days per year for women and 815 hours, or 34 days a year for men. 

In terms of what people are doing on their phones, this was broken down to 63 minutes on social media, 40 minutes on messages, 15 minutes a day shopping and another 35 minutes using other apps such as news, streaming videos and TV, gaming and dating.

To put into context just how much time we’re wasting, online watch and sunglasses specialist, Tic Watches, has compared these figures to how long it typically takes to learn six aspirational new skills and accomplish tasks. 

1. Learn a new language

 The US Foreign Service Institute estimate that it takes roughly 480 hours to become fluent in a ‘Group 1’ language, such as French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Swahili[.

With Brits spending an average of 900 hours per year on their phone, this time could instead be used to master three new languages. Experts estimate this extra skill could even earn you a 2% pay rise[.

Apps like Duolingo make it easier than ever to learn a language in your free time and allow you to put that screentime to good use.

2. Become a yoga teacher

Teaching the art of yoga can be very rewarding and it can take less time than you think. The first level of certification takes a minimum of 200 hours. This generally takes three to five months on average, however it also works out to be six hours a day for a month, if you wanted it to be more intensive.

Cutting smartphone use to two hours a day would free up the time to complete this course within three months.

 3. Learn to fly

According to Go Fly UK, a Private Pilot’s License, which allows you to fly private, propeller-driven aircraft, will take a minimum of 45 hours to complete, whilst most students will require an average of 55 hours.

Considering average daily smartphone usage, if Brits put down their smartphones more often, they could free up enough time to learn to fly a plane!

 4. Read the classics

Many people love to read, but often say they don’t have the time to do it as much as they’d like. However, spending less time on your phone could give you more time to read the classics.

 It takes over 98 hours to read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire book from the Game of Thrones series, 60 hours to read the Harry Potter series, and 26 hours to read The Lord of the Rings[.

Brits could read all of these books (184 hours) over a year if they cut just their social media usage in half.

 5. Learn to code

If technology is your thing, you could use the time to develop your abilities and learn a new tech-related skill.

Learning to code can take roughly 140 hours[, and can teach you valuable skills which can open new career directions and get yourself ahead in an increasingly tech-centric work environment. 

 6. Train for a marathon

Running a marathon provides a great sense of achievement, but many people may think that they don’t have enough time to train.

While it is undoubtedly a huge commitment, the recommended minimum training at roughly 90 hours over 16 weeks[ means that by cutting down phone usage you can easily commit to training in this timeframe.

 Danny Richmond, Managing Director of Tic Watches said: “Looking at your phone or online shopping is something that we do almost without thinking, but this time adds up to quite a significant total over the year.

 “Although these are extreme examples, we want people to realise that simply by putting your phone away and spending less time plugged in, you can open yourself up to a huge range of new achievements and experiences.”

 For more useful things you could do instead of looking at your phone and how long it would take, please visit:

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