Winter Blues - a Problem for One in Four

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The end of British Summer Time signifies the start of the Winter Blues for one in four of the population, according to research by the UK's biggest free to use cashback website.

Duncan Robb of Top Cashback said “The internet gives people an escape from the dark and cold of Winter and we've been surprised how many use their computer to browse, shop, play games or simply communicate with friends as a way to keep their spirits up.”

The survey conducted among more than 600,000 members of Top Cashback, revealed the extent to which the lack of sunshine during the winter months affects people and the diverse activities engaged in to combat the darkness.

Respondents were asked to rate just how much they were affected by the shorter days and longer nights and what changed most about their lives during the winter months. Not surprisingly the vast majority claimed to eat more and gain the most weight in December and then socialise least and feel at their worst in January. While the festive season can be blamed (or thanked) in part for these specific effects, the seasonal change plays an important role in mood, appetite and energy levels.

Of the 25% who claimed to be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) more than half (58.3%) rated the problem 3 or higher on a scale of 1-5.

When asked what people did to combat the effects of Winter, the most popular response was to watch more television (51%), with 'snuggling up in front of a roaring fire', a close second. Other activities that rated highly were; reading a good book, going shopping and getting out for walk. Only 23% claimed to drink more alcohol to cope with the lack of sunlight.

Several respondents reported using one of the new lamps that mimic the sunrise, in place of the alarm clock, claiming it to be a more gentle way to wake up on cold dark mornings. The option of real sunlight, getting away for a Winter Sun holiday, was selected by only 17% of respondents.

More than a third of those completing the survey went into 'hibernation mode' during the winter, claiming to sleep for more than 9 hours each day, in some cases up to 14 hours. In contrast 26.3% managed less than 6 hours of sleep a day during the summer months.

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Duncan Robb of Top Cashback said, “The internet gives people an escape from the dark and cold of Winter and we've been surprised how many use their computer to browse, shop, play games or simply communicate with friends as a way to keep their spirits up.”

Only 144 days until the clocks spring forward.

Date: 2 November 2010
Issued by Duncan Robb
For further information call 0207 1939 029 or email duncan(at)topcashback(dot)co(dot)uk

Notes for Editors:
Survey results based on 400 respondents completing the survey.

TopCashBack is the UK’s most generous and biggest free to use cashback website. Retailers pay a referral commission for any purchase made on their website via topcashback.co.uk but rather than keep this commission, Top CashBack passes 100% straight back to the customer as ‘cashback’. TopCashBack is funded by sponsored adverts across the site. The basic aim is to help each and every UK resident to save as much money as possible on their online shopping. Established in 2005 TopCashBack has an ethos of ‘fair play’ and has gone from strength-to-strength with a member base now over 600,000.

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Duncan Robb
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