Posted on: 07 August 2019

The benefits of taking time off from your digital devices

We currently live in an age where we are all connected by digital communication, and because of social media, it is believed that you are, on average, only 3.5 connections away from every person on the planet. 

Yet somehow, this increased connection had led to increased levels of stress, depression and isolation. It has been reported that mental health problems in the UK costs £94bn every year in treatment and support. Smartphone usage especially, has been linked to mental health problems, so what can you do to help combat this?

What is a digital detox?

A digital detox is when you take some time to stop using digital devices for an extended period of time. A digital detox can be for a few hours a day, or even for an extended period of time, like Simon Cowell who stopped using his phone for 10 months.

A digital detox is said to reduce stress and improve sleep, concentration and happiness.

The problem with your devices

YouGov conducted research into smartphone use, which stated that a large percentage of the population would feel nervous, anxious or worried if they were separated from their phone for one day. A 2017 research paper from Deloitte also showed that 79% of 16 to 24 year olds checked their phone in the hour before they went to sleep, and 55% checked their phone within 15 minutes of waking up.

It is important to address the problems that are being caused by digital devices, and the main problem is that frequently using your smartphone is an addiction. Companies use strategies to keep you glued to the screen so that you keep consuming and not always being connected to people makes us worry that if we aren’t seen, we will be forgotten about, a phenomenon known as fear of missing out (FOMO). This makes it very difficult to detach yourself from a mobile device.

Looking at electronic screens for longer than an hour has been found to have a negative effect on sleep, mood and concentration.

Digital detox as a business owner

As a business owner, it is likely that you may need to frequently use your digital devices, so you will spend all day looking at your screen and then when you get some time at home, the likelihood is that you will be looking at an electronic device of some kind.

Mental health in the workplace is something that should be taken seriously, as stress can lead to further complications such as fatigue, mental health problems and substance reliance. Whilst there are plenty of ways to alleviate stress, such as exercise, socialising and a healthier diet, a digital detox can also be a great way to remove the stress of your work life when you want to relax.

Charity partnership with Mind

At the start of 2019, Allianz UK, Premierline’s parent company, announced a 3 year partnership with Mind, with a goal to raise £1 million for the mental health charity.

The last charity partner for Allianz UK was the Association of Air Ambulances, and Premierline raised £28,433.42 for North West Air Ambulance. Allianz UK matched this figure to bring the total to £56,866.64, which contributed to the £1.1 million that was eventually raised over the partnership period.

Earlier this year, Premierline and the Lancaster office for Allianz played a charity football match at the Globe Arena, home of Morecambe FC, and raised over £1,000 for Mind.

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