March 28, 2009

US Adults Average Eight Hours A Day Looking At Screens

A new study suggests that adult Americans spend an average of more than eight hours a day in front of televisions, computer monitors, cell phones and various other screened devices, the AFP reported.

Home television continues to attract the greatest amount of viewing time, with the average American spending just over five hours a day watching TV, the study said.

Among 18-24 year olds, the figure drops to 210 minutes a day of average TV viewing time but among those aged 65 and older it, rises to 420 minutes a day.

The study recorded the exposure of 350 subjects over the span of a year to four categories of screens: traditional television, computers, mobile devices and other screens such as store displays, movie screens and even GPS navigation units.

The average amount of screen time for all age groups was "strikingly similar" at more than eight-and-a-half hours, although the type of devices and duration used by the respective groups throughout the day varied, the study said.

Adults between the ages of 45 and 54 averaged the most daily screen time at just over nine-and-a-half hours. Minors were not included in the study.

Other findings in the report include:

  • Computer video consumption tends to be quite small with an average time of just over two minutes a day.
  • Adults spend an average of 6.5 minutes a day with videogame consoles with the number rising to 26 minutes a day among those aged 18-24.
  • Adults spend an average 142 minutes a day in front of computer screens.
  • Adults spend an average 20 minutes a day engaged with mobile devices with the highest usage of 43 minutes a day among the 18-24 age group.

Mike Bloxham, director of insight and research for Ball State's CMD, said the study was different than similar studies because of the range of media covered and the fact that it is focused on consumers first and the media second.

He said this particular study wasn't about TV or the Web or any other medium.

"It's about how, where, how often and for how long consumers are exposed to all media."

The "Video Consumer Mapping" study was conducted by Ball State University's Center for Media Design (CMD) and Sequent Partners for the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence (CRE).


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