Attention spans have halved to just five minutes over the last decade, with young people the worst at maintaining concentration, new research claims.
The pressures of modern life are affecting our ability to focus on the task in hand, with work stress cited as the major distraction, it said. Declining attention spans are causing household accidents such as pans being left to boil over on the hob, baths allowed to overflow, and freezer doors left open, the survey suggests. A quarter of people polled said they regularly forget the names of close friends or relatives, and seven per cent even admitted to momentarily forgetting their own birthdays.
The study by Lloyds TSB insurance showed that the average attention span had fallen to just 5 minutes, down from 12 minutes 10 years ago. But the over-50s are able to concentrate for longer periods than young people, suggesting that busy lifestyles and intrusive modern technology rather than old age are to blame for our mental decline.