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PopCap Games research

Two-thirds of Brits admit to slacking during work hours, with a third playing games online. Tsk.

As the nation gears up for the final England game in the World Cup group stage, the big question on everyone’s minds is: how can I get out of work to watch the match? The results of a study – released today by leading casual games developer PopCap Games – reveal that even when World Cup fever is not gripping the country, 65% of Brits admit to actively engaging in non-work activity during work hours.

On average Brits reclaim up to one hour (or just over half a football match) a day of their working day for themselves, with almost half of Brits spend time surfing the internet while a third play games online, on their PC or on a mobile device.

And experts believe this could be a positive trend. Dr. Carmen Russoniello PhD, Director of the Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic at East Carolina University, is currently undertaking his second study into the effects of casual games in promoting positive mental health. He says: “I believe British workers are taking time out during work as an attempt to manage the consequences of dealing with life stressors including work. Randomised controlled studies in our lab using electroencephalography (brain wave) and heart rate variability measurements have clearly demonstrated that mood improves and stress decreases while taking time out to play casual video games such as Bejeweled 2 and Peggle. People are instinctively taking time off to slow down and let the body and mind rejuvenate. Studies have shown that people’s performance increases and physical and mental problems are decreased saving employers a lot of money as a result of micro breaks. Ironically, however, most employers do not support these mini breaks.”

All work and no play

The study also showed that the ‘yoof’ of today have the most relaxed attitude at work – with almost 80% of 16-24 year-olds admitting that they take time out at work – while the majority of people aged 55 and over claim that they never take downtime time at work.

An overwhelming 85% of those aged 16-24 play games online, on their PC or on a mobile device. As the Dr. Russoniello’s research shows, playing online games can be particularly beneficial for stressed out, nervous or anxious workers so post-recession, with many employees feeling the strain as they take on an increased workload and extra hours, the younger generation may be on to a good thing.

Regional differences

Finally, when it comes to the different cities, workers in Cardiff and Glasgow spend the most time out with only a quarter of people saying they never engage in non-work related activity. Those in Norwich and Plymouth take the least downtime with 50% of those surveyed saying they never take time out.

If you are looking for a way to de-stress and refocus your mind, you can log onto to play for free.

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Notes to editors

1,564 UK adults were surveyed. They all resided in Great Britain and were aged 18+

About PopCap

PopCap Games ( is the leading multi-platform provider of fun, easy-to-learn, captivating video games that appeal to everyone from age 6 to 106. Based in Seattle, Washington, PopCap was founded in 2000 and has a worldwide staff of over 260 people in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver, B.C., Dublin, and Shanghai. Its games have been downloaded more than 1 billion times by consumers worldwide, and its flagship title, Bejeweled ® , has sold more than 50 million units across all platforms. Constantly acclaimed by consumers and critics, PopCap’s games are played on the Web, social platforms, desktop computers, myriad mobile devices (cell phones, smartphones, PDAs, Pocket PCs, iPod, iPhone and more), popular game consoles (such as Xbox and DS), and in-flight entertainment systems. PopCap is the only “casual games” developer with leading market share across all major sales channels, including social, Web portals, retail stores, mobile phones, MP3 players, and game devices.

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