Tech has undoubtedly made our busy lives that little bit easier, allowing us to easily conduct everyday tasks online – but you can’t ignore its impact on our social, mental and physical health.

When was the last time you took 15 minutes away from your devices?

The New Year is a great time to think about how we’re using our technology and how we might want to change things for the better. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the Government’s Cyber Aware campaign to provide tips on how to take a tech free break to improve your wellbeing. They have launched #TechFree15 to get us all to put our devices down for 15 minutes a day and use that time to install the latest software and app updates so we can stay secure online.

Just think what you can do with an extra 15 minutes…

Take a walk somewhere green
According to TV Psychologist and wellbeing expert, Honey Lancaster James research has shown that the more time you spend in green places, the better your mood and overall happiness, and we all know that regular exercise is vital for your health.

Start your day with an energising yoga boost
Consider adding a short but effective yoga sequence to your daily ritual at home. A small amount of yoga done consistently every day will boost your energy and also improve your practice as the body and mind learn from repetition.

Engage fully with family and friends
More than half of young Brits (55%)* say that they have missed what a friend, partner or family member was saying because they were distracted by their smartphone – so why not use your tech time out to spend more quality time with loved ones. Make the dinner table a tech-free zone so you’re actually making eye contact with one another and sharing the ups and downs of your day. That way you’ll be getting, and giving, the vital social support we all need.

Cook up a speedy yet delicious feast
You’d be surprised at how many delicious 15 minutes meals you can throw together – it’s almost unbelievable! Cook and food writer, Issy Hossack of Top with Cinnamon, recently made an awesome Mushroom and Sage Butter Gnocchi with her techfree15 minutes and it looks heavenly.

Improve your online security
Taking a break from our devices also means we can use that time to install the latest software and app updates to protect ourselves from the threats posed by cyber criminals and hackers, who are always waiting for an opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities in people’s devices. These updates include important security enhancements – yet on average only 52% of Brits regularly download the latest software or app updates as soon as they are available**. Our personal devices hold reams of information about us and falling victim to a cyber attack could result in financial loss and damage to your reputation.

That’s why we were delighted to be partnering with the Cyber Aware campaign which advises the public about small, actionable steps they can take to keep secure online. We are encouraging everyone to take a #TechFree15 minutes to improve their wellbeing and stay secure by installing the latest software and app updates. Hopefully we can encourage others to take tech-free time to do something positive for themselves, too

To find out more about Cyber Aware visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk

*Research was carried out on i:omnibus, Ipsos MORI’s online omnibus survey, with 2,324 adults aged 16-75 in the UK. Adults were interviewed online between Friday 29th September and Tuesday 3rd October 2017.

** Online study conducted with 4,002 members of Ipsos MORI’s online panel. The study took place between 26 October and 14 November 2016. Data was weighted by region, age, gender and social grade according to the national online profile