Digitally Addicted Kiwis Need to Flick the 'Off' Switch

Wednesday 19 July 2017, 1:37PM
By Undertow Media

New research commissioned by Choice Hotels Asia-Pac, one of New Zealand’s largest hotel franchise groups, has revealed Kiwis are failing at the ‘life’ component of work/life balance.

Conducted as an integral part of Choice Hotels’ latest campaign, the ‘Need A Break’ report explored whether New Zealanders allow themselves sufficient time to switch off and take a break from the daily grind.

40 per cent of Kiwis admitted to remaining connected to work while on a short break, with the report revealing that only 24 per cent felt guilty about keeping in touch with the workplace. Staggeringly, the remaining 76 per cent said they didn’t have an issue with it and accepted this as part of everyday life.

Health and wellness advocate, Makaia Carr, believes that the need to stay connected is detrimental to our health and recommends blocking out set times to step away from devices.

“Short breaks away from work and devices can be extremely beneficial for our health and can help to alleviate the stresses that build up over time,” said Ms Carr.

According to United States academic Adam Alter, the need for constant connectivity may be a sign of something more sinister. His recently published book, Irresistible: Why We Can't Stop Checking, Scrolling, Clicking and Watching, puts forward the argument that our dependence on devices represents a behavioural addiction.

To combat this addictive cycle, Ms Carr recommends regularly spending a few days away from your everyday environment.

“Short breaks represent time for a digital detox and allow us to stop, take a breath, ‘reset’ and make adjustments to ingrained habits.”

The ‘Need A Break’ research study also helped to shape Choice Hotels’ new online platform,, a website created to enable and inspire Kiwis to plan much-needed short breaks. The online channel provides travel tips, destination reviews, advice and planning tools, including an itinerary builder that makes planning a short break simple and accessible for all Kiwis.

“Check out the website and make a commitment to some ‘me’ time in 2017. Your mind, body, family and friends will thank you for it,” says Ms Carr.

For more information or to download the ‘Need A Break’ report, visit