PETALING JAYA: Surfing the internet has become the most popular activity among Malaysians, thanks to the restriction on outdoor activities.

Data from a study, just completed by consumer intelligence company Dattel, shows that 71% of 2,997 people interviewed cited browsing websites as their favourite pastime since the movement control order (MCO) was enforced.

The next most popular activity is cooking, as 57% of those surveyed picked spending time in the kitchen as the activity they enjoy most.

Coming in very closely at third place is seeking God’s grace. A total of 56% said they have been spending more time in prayer.

A total of 46% used their time to renew ties by reconnecting with friends and family on social media. Another 39% indulge in their passion for online games.

Behavioural scientist Dr Gerard Louis of HELP University told theSun that activities such as surfing the internet becomes an addiction when it offers emotional or physical pleasure.

Two online pursuits that offer such pleasure are video gaming and pornography.

Contrary to popular perception, the work-from-home concept is not all that it is made out to be. Just like having to study from home, working from home could lead to more stress than relief, he said.

“Many now have to juggle between work and family, household chores and taking care of the children. This results in less work-life balance.”

However, he expects the situation to improve once the MCO is lifted.

“Those who have been engaging in aimless browsing will be able to reset their habits and take on more productive tasks at work or school.”

Louis said with no more restrictions of movement, people would be free to indulge in physical activities “such as going to the mamak stall”.

“This gives you more endorphins, a hormone that helps you feel better.”

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Internet surfing, cooking among favourite MCO pastimes

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