Computer users lose more than five and a half days a year to slow-loading computers, applications and files, according to new research.

A study of PC and laptop users in the UK found slow computers are causing almost a third (30%) to be put in a bad mood for the rest of the day, while almost a fifth (17%) have relieved their frustration over a gadget through physical aggression by either throwing it against a wall or stamping on it.

According to the study, by flash memory firm SanDisk, UK computer users last year have lost more than 130 hours of free time to slow-loading computers, applications and files.

With the typical desktop or laptop user in the UK waiting an average of up to 12 minutes for their machine to load at any one time, PC slowdowns have become one of the top seven most stressful everyday experiences faced by computer users in the UK, according to the study.

So-called "digital downtime" has climbed into the top seven stressful everyday experiences faced by UK respondents, with a quarter putting the experience on a par with waiting for the boiler to be fixed.

The list also includes waiting for a bus or train (30% of respondents saying it was the most stressful experience), and waiting for a non-reserved table at a restaurant (30%).