Your smartphone may seem like the portal to entertainment (where else are you going to play Angry Birds and scroll through Instagram?), but new research is suggesting otherwise. A Kent State University study released last week revealed that excessive phone use is sucking the fun right out of our downtime.
Researchers monitored a group of nearly 500 undergraduates and measured the individuals’ daily smartphone use, as well as assessed their personalities and ideas of what they consider quality leisure time. The team then separated participants into three categories: Low-use introverts, low-use extroverts and a general high-use group.
Those who were considered in the “high-use” category experienced more stress and anxiety during their leisure time than the other groups.
Even if you don’t identify with those categories, think you’re immune to the high consumption of the digital screen? Think again: A recent digital analysis found that we’re spending almost three hours a day checking our devices on average. This is unwelcome news, considering our busy schedules rarely seem to allow for time luxuries in the first place.
So what can we do in order to really take advantage of our downtime? We’ve rounded up several activities below that also take a few hours to complete (but best part of all, you’ll improve your health in the process). Check them out and reclaim your right to relaxation during your time off — you deserve it.