Reuters Woman Using Phone
Nielsen says that people now spend more time on their mobile devices than in front of a PC. Reuters

Parents of teens probably aren't surprised to hear this, but people worldwide now spend more time on their smartphones than on traditional PCs, according to a recent study from Nielsen. Americans spent about 7 more hours per month on their phones than on a computer, and the gap is even wider for Europeans.

Italians spent more than 37 hours a month on their phones, compared to 18 hours browsing the Web on a PC. In the U.K., users were online for over 29 hours a month on a PC, vs. nearly 42 hours on a smartphone.

Nielsen Study Smartphone Mobile Usage Statistics Gaming PC Vs Versus
Users in the U.K. spent the most time on their smartphones, Nielsen says. Nielsen

With PC sales stagnating across the board and smartphone sales still on the rise, the study shows that consumers are spending their time in the same ways as their money. Nielsen used a small target group that agreed to install on-device usage meters.

The meters calculated all time spent on a device, including sending text messages and making phone calls. Worldwide, people are also using their devices more than they used to. In December 2012, Nielsen said that smartphone users accessed the Web nearly five times a day, whereas in 2013, it rose to seven mobile webpage visits daily.

Smartphone Mobile Usage Statistics Gaming Vs Versus PC Nielsen
Users in the U.K. spent the most time gaming on their mobile devices, and worldwide people mostly used their phones to keep in touch with social networks and communication services. Nielsen

The study also calculated television usage, with Americans spending the most time in front of the tube, with 185 hours every month. In the U.K., television watching comprised about 130 hours per month.

Nielsen also calculated what users were doing when they were on their phones. Social networking was the most popular app category, taking up more than 20 percent of mobile time spent in the U.S., Japan and the U.K. British users spent the most time gaming, devoting 18 percent of their time on a smartphone to crushing candy bits and flapping between tubes.

Follow Reporter Thomas Halleck on Twitter @tommylikey.