Sickness causes productivity to fall by almost half, new research shows

Concentration levels decrease by almost half with headaches, tiredness, and a blocked nose amongst the biggest culprits of slump in productivity – that is according to new research.

The study of 2,000 UK adults revealed 46 minutes is the average length of time we can spend focusing on a single task, before becoming distracted.

But Brits’ concentration levels become worse when they are ill with the average length of time spent zoned in on a task dropping to just 26 minutes – a 43 percent drop in productivity.

On a regular day, almost half (45 percent) admit they struggle to concentrate on one thing, with the nation’s concentration levels at their worst at 1pm.

Someone talking loudly next to you (50 percent), a phone ringing (38 percent), a text or email alert (38 percent), social media notifications (33 percent) and roadworks outside the house (31 percent) are the biggest distractions.

The new research has been commissioned, by natural nasal spray brand Stérimar and reveals Brits’ concentration levels plummet when they have a cold.

Dr Emeka Okorocha, who has partnered with Stérimar, said: “It is interesting to see from the research how easy it is for Brits’ concentration to drop when we are ill.

“And it is no surprise that when you have a cold your symptoms can prove to be a huge distraction due to the impact they have on our natural bodily functions.

“Yet many Brits are unaware that something as simple and natural as practicing good nasal hygiene could help prevent or treat congestion.

“This is the practice of keeping nasal passages clean and clear with help from a non-medicated nasal spray such as Stérimar.”

Our concentration does not fare any better at work as we are only able to sit through 10 minutes of a work presentation, 10 minutes of a meeting and nine minutes of a video call.

Eight in ten (83 percent) go a step further and admit their ability to focus is worse when they are feeling sick and believe their ability to focus falls by 41 percent.

The survey by Stérimar also found Brits find headaches (63 percent), tiredness (55 percent), feeling sick (46 percent), bunged up head (43 percent), runny nose (41 percent) and a blocked nose (40 percent) the biggest distractions when they have a cold.

Interestingly, more than a quarter (27 percent) cited being unable to breathe as one of the most frustrating things that impacts their ability to concentrate when they have a cold.

Over half of Brits (56 percent) say they have tried separate ways to improve their concentration when they are unwell.

A third even turn to natural remedies to help combat cold symptoms and improve their ability to focus. Drinking lemon and honey (37 percent), drinking hot water and lemon (32 percent), taking vitamins (28 percent), and having a steamy bath (26 percent) are the go-to remedies.

Dr Emeka Okorocha said: “Whilst the most natural of remedies can sometimes be highly effective at providing some short-term relief; many natural remedies have no scientific backing and what works for one person may not work for another. Instead using an effective and natural, non-medicated nasal spray like Stérimar may be more beneficial as it is clinically proven to help decongest the nose by washing out nasal cavities, helping to improve breathing.”

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