Research by DR.VEGAN shows nearly 50% of people have problems focusing and concentrating.
The issue is much greater for younger people, with the under 35s twice as likely to be affected by poor focus and concentration than the over 55s. Women are also affected more than men across all age groups.
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Our research of 2,085 people shows energy levels, diet, exercise, stress and sleep all play a role in our ability to focus and concentrate.
Who is struggling to concentrate?
Whether it’s the pressures of modern life, work-life balance, social life or social media, younger people are significantly more affected by problems focusing and concentrating than older generations.
As our chart shows, those under 35 are much more likely to suffer, while if we dig deeper, we see that those aged 18-24, are twice as likely to suffer from challenges focusing and concentrating than those aged 65 and over.
Lack of energy and concentration
Our energy levels have a significant bearing on our ability to focus and concentrate.
While our brain accounts for just 2% of our body weight, it accounts for 20% of our energy consumption, so if we're not eating the right foods to provide us with energy, our brains will suffer disproportionately more than the rest of our body.
Those describing themselves as having low energy are twice as likely to suffer from problems with focus and concentration.
Our research shows how important it is to be eating the right foods every day to support your energy.
1 in 4 people say they're always lacking in energy and nearly two thirds of all respondents say they wish they had more energy, so a lack of energy is the greatest contributor to people's lack of focus and concentration.
Eating a varied balanced diet, including plenty of healthy carbohydrates, proteins and fats can make a significant difference to your energy levels.
Understand your diet. Create your free Diet Profile.
If you struggle to get the nutrients in your diet, you should consider taking a Daily Multi-Vitamin or Vitamin B12 supplement to ensure you’re feeding your brain and body the nutrients it needs for energy.
Stress affects concentration
We've long known stress affects our clarity of thought, our ability to focus, resilience and our productivity, and our research shows just how significant an impact it has on our ability to focus and concentrate.
46% of people say they suffer from high or overwhelming stress, and issues with focus are twice as common among them when compared to those who have manageable levels of stress.
At the extreme, people who find their stress overwhelming are five times more likely to suffer than those who are stress free.
Your diet can support your mental health and how your mind and body cope with stress. Read our nutritionists blog: “How your diet can improve your mental health”.
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Sleep and concentration
As we'd expect, poor sleep will impact our ability to focus and concentrate, and our research gives us a sense of scale of the impact.
Reported problems with sleep are on the rise during lockdown. 4 in 10 people often struggle to sleep or say they're insomniacs, and this is having an impact on their focus.
Three quarters of people who are insomniacs regularly suffer poor concentration and focus. Even among people who say they have no issues sleeping, a third say they have issues with focus and concentrating.
So while a lack of sleep on it's own may not be the biggest driver of people struggling to focus and concentrate, we know it has an indirect impact on other lifestyle factors such as our energy levels and stress which themselves create issues with our ability to focus.
Impact of exercise on concentration
Exercise plays a major role in our quality of sleep (read our research in to 'The Sleep Problem here), however the impact of exercise is less marked on people’s ability to focus and concentrate.
Even so, we know that a lack of exercise can impact your mental health and energy levels, so a lack of exercise can be indirectly affecting our ability to focus and concentrate.
Improving our energy levels, managing stress, and getting better sleep will help us better focus and concentrate at whatever the tasks are in hand. Lifestyle factors including our diet and the exercise we take each day can also play a valuable role.
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