New Study Shows that Slow Internet is a Stressor

Stress levels and internet connection have more in common than we might think, according to a recent study performed.

The internet is such an integral part of our lives. We use it for so much. Whether we are trying to access information for work, e-mails, information for a presentation, or just showing our friends the latest hilarious cat video on YouTube, a slow internet connection can stress us out.

Ericsson, a mobile broadband company, conducted a study recently that calculated the levels of stress in connection to internet speeds. It states that heart rate increases 38% with mobile content delays. It also states that stress rises from 19% to 34% during video re-buffering. According to Ericsson, this is comparable to the same level of stress we would feel from watching a horror movie.

Aside from just the normal delays of internet, there is an even greater spike in stress levels from a single pause once a video begins.  This can increase stress levels an additional 15 percentage points, whereas, a two second delay in loading a YouTube video increases stress by just three percentage points.

(Click here for the study)



These are very interesting numbers and can leave us wondering why this happens. Why does the speed of our internet effect our stress levels so dramatically?

The report ends with the data stated and does not go on to speculate; however, we can draw a few conclusions of our own from this data. We rely on it for entertainment, business, education, and more. We also live in a time where information comes fast, and that is the way we want it. It is the same with our internet. We need it to work the way it is designed to work in order to accomplish our tasks, no matter how large or small. We are very dependent on its effectiveness, so when it slows down, we slow down. The delay in the connection can be both frustrating and stressful and can cause us to not accomplish our daily goals and/or business requirements.

If your internet is slow and causing delays, there are a few measures you can take to ensure a good connection.

1) Move your router away from electrical devices.

-There are some electrical devices that are known to cause interference with broadband routers. Those devices include: stereo or computer speakers, TVs and monitors, AC power cords, and even some lights like halogen lamps, electrical dimmer switches, and fairy lights.

2) Move your router to a different part of your home.

-Routers should be kept in a central location on a table or shelf and not on the floor. Also, walls and furniture can act as obstacles for the WI-FI radio frequencies.

3) Try resetting your wireless router.

-Resetting your wireless router can cause it to automatically select a less busy radio frequency.

4) Use an Ethernet cable to connect directly to your router.

-While it is less portable and limits you to location, connecting directly to your router should give you a faster and more reliable connection.


It should be noted that this study was conducted by a company that sells network equipment and the sample size is small, but the underlying message is the same. We have all been frustrated by a page that won’t load or a video that stops playing midstream. The most important part is to stay in control of stress and to not let a moment of buffering ruin our day.

Keep calm and stream on!