By Daniel Hunter

In the past 12 months UK computer users have lost more than 130 hours, equivalent to five and a half days (5.52 days), of free time to slow-loading computers, applications and files.

With the typical desktop or laptop user in the UK waiting an average of up to 12 minutes for their machine to load at any one time, PC slowdowns have become one of the top seven most stressful everyday experiences faced by computer users in the UK.

A recent study of 8,001 PC and laptop users commissioned by SanDisk, a global leader in flash storage solutions, has revealed that of the 1,006 respondents from the UK, slow computers are causing 29 per cent of respondents from the UK to lose sleep and almost a third (30 per cent) to be put in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

This compares with more than a third of respondents from France (35 per cent) and China (37 per cent), who are the most likely to have their moods affected by computers. At the upper end of the spectrum, almost a fifth (17 per cent) of UK respondents have relieved their frustration over a gadget through physical aggression by either throwing it against a wall or stamping on it, placing computer users in the UK in between respondents from America and China, who at 14 per cent, are the least likely to react aggressively and respondents from Germany, who, at 23 per cent are the most likely to vent their frustration in a physical way.

According to the study, in a year respondents from the UK waste the most time, some 2.49 days, waiting for files to either upload or download, with 2.13 days lost to slow-loading applications. In comparison, PC and laptop boot-ups are less time-intensive, taking up only 21.6 hours across the year.

Time lost to computers may explain why a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents from the UK wish they had more free time and why half (50 per cent) wish they had more time to spend with family. While family factors highly for UK respondents, relationships fall further down the list, with only 32 per cent wishing they had more time to spend on weekend breaks with their partners.

“PC users in the UK are spending too much time waiting for computers and would quite understandably like to get more time back to do the things they enjoy," Stefan Kratzer, Senior Product Marketing Manager, SanDisk USB & SSD said.

"The beauty of it is that they can. Simply replacing a PC or laptop’s traditional hard disk drive (HDD) with a solid state drive (SDD) is all it takes to speed everything up and safeguard against system failure.”

The results go some way towards explaining why ‘digital downtime’ has climbed into the top seven stressful everyday experiences faced by respondents from the UK today, with a quarter (25 per cent) putting the experience on a par with waiting for the boiler to be fixed.

Further up the list are waiting for a bus or train (30 per cent) and waiting for a non-reserved table at a restaurant (also 30 per cent), followed by waiting for deliveries (40 per cent). At the highest end of the spectrum, 56 per cent of respondents found waiting for medical appointments the most frustrating experience, with 68 per cent placing being put on hold on the telephone as the leading cause of stress.

“It’s high time PC users in the UK started getting back the time they are losing to slow computers,” continues Stefan Kratzer, “and with the right technical solution it can easily be achieved. SanDisk’s solid state drive (SSD) lasts longer and consumes less energy than a traditional hard disk drive (HDD). Due to its fast data speeds, the drive also lets you enjoy quicker boot-up and program loading times than ever before.”

Digital Marketing moves at lightening pace and marketers need access to the latest information and advice - a new event – The Digital Marketing Show is taking place in Excel, London in November - visit

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness