'Digital Detox' urges Cantabs to put screens away for a day in NZ first

A post-earthquake health charity is urging Cantabrians to put away their phones and screens for a day and take part in New Zealand's first city-wide Digital Detox.

Around 3.1 million New Zealanders spend 16 hours online every week, with 70 per cent of Kiwis now owning a mobile device, according to Nielsen research.

All Right? strategist Ciaran Fox says small breaks away from technology can have big benefits.

"Being away from our screen allows us to slow down and focus on the things that matter most," he said.

"It can free us up to do the things that really matter, like enjoying the outdoors, spending time with the whanau, or giving something new a go.

"Doing these things can lead to lower stress levels, improved relationships, and improved overall well being."

A Digital Detox will be held between 10am and 2pm on Sunday, October 2.

Sue Turner, All Right? manager, says it's a chance for Cantabrians to disconnect and reconnect.

"While being online can be a great way to learn and connect, it can also be a challenge to get the balance right," she said.

"For most of us, unplugging completely is unrealistic. Sometimes there are simply calls to take, texts or emails to answer and moments we want to capture.

"The challenge is learning to embrace technology, while not letting it take over every minute. In short, how can we switch off and recharge?"

All Right? will be hosting a walk through the Botanic Gardens, the All Right? Amble, where people can check in their phones and enjoy some screen free time in one of the most beautiful places in Christchurch.

* Anyone can sign up for the All Right? Digital Detox at www.allright.org.nz

- NZ Herald

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