More time spent online than in front of TV

Surfing the Internet is Britain’s favourite pastime with users spending an average of more than two and a half hours online each day, research has revealed.

A survey by search engine giant Google has found that Britons with Internet access now spends more time on the web than watching the box.

The survey of more than 1,000 adults ages 16 to 64 found that on average, residents in the UK spend 164 minutes online every day equal to more than 41 days per year, compared to 148 minutes or 37 days for TV viewers.

This follows reports last September that most people spent a third of their day using two or more media at the same time.

The biggest growth of use was seen among 16- to 24-year-olds, while men are still found to be the highest Internet users with an average of 172 minutes a day compared with 156 minutes for women.

According to the survey, shopping has become one of the most popular online activities, with Internet users now spending an average of £446 online each year.

Kate Burns, head of advertising sales at Google, said, “People have an insatiable thirst for information. The Internet is one of the fastest and easiest ways to access and share that information. This is a great opportunity for British business.

“Technology now even allows businesses to target specific regions, cities and even postcodes,” Burns added.

Scotland is significantly ahead of the UK average in this pursuit. The average Internet user in Scotland spends £462 online each year, while across the UK the average is £446.

Scots are only outdone, once again, by Londoners, who spend most money online, £517.