The company Ericsson recently conducted a series of experiments in Europe, and put some solid numbers behind what we all know intuitively to be true. That waiting stresses us out. When we’re watching streaming video, and have to sit through constant video re-buffering, we don’t like it. When we pull out our smart devices to search for some or other information we need, we want to put our hands on it quickly. If a page takes too long to load, we get stressed out.
The surprise though, was just how much and how strongly these things impact us. The research found that a user’s heart rate increases 38% when using a mobile device and experience content loading delays lasting longer than two seconds. Heart rate increases further as the delay increases, up to a maximum of six seconds, where it falls off. At that point, the researchers conclude, the user has essentially given up on the task at hand, at least where that site is concerned.
In a similar vein, video re-buffering causes heart rate to increase anywhere from 19% to 34%, depending on the delay associated with the re-buffering. A two second delay between pressing play to begin watching a video and the stream actually beginning lead to an average 16% increase in heart rate, while an additional pause, once the video had begun playing let to an additional 15% increase in heart rate.
The sheer magnitude of these results underscores the importance of utilizing the fastest internet speeds available in your local market. Of course, everyone in business has long understood that speed is life, but now, we also know that slow speeds can actually have potential repercussions to long-term health.