In this era, people spend most of their time using technology. Devices of the latest technology have an impact on human health, lifestyle, and daily activities. Thus researchers researched to find the link between screen time use, diet, and other health factors.
Screen time and the study
Screen time refers to the time spent by the user in using new technological devices. These devices have screens or touch systems for their operation. Nowadays, the majority of people are using television, laptops, iPads, and many more.
People eat like a family while sitting in front of a television. Also, binge-watching culture is quite popular, particularly among the youth. Fast food and other facilities take just a few taps on your smartphones.
Chris Wharton is an assistant dean of innovation and strategic initiatives at Arizona State University – College of Health Solutions. Chris’s research has been about lifestyle-wide behavior changes and certain other factors. Chris wants to know about the kind of relationship that exists between the time we spend on screens and related health-behavioral changes.
A Digital Study
BMC Public Health is one of the most popular open-access public health journals in the world. BMC Public Health publishes a recent study of Wharton. Heavy users of the screen are the ones that use the screen on an average of 17.5 hours per day. Meanwhile, moderate users view a screen for an average of 11.3 hours per day. Furthermore, light users use the screen on an average of 7 hours per day.
Chris Wharton discovered that heavy users have the worst health conditions. On the other hand, moderate and light users have comparatively better health conditions.
For the study, a survey consisting of 900 adults was run. These adults own televisions and at least one other device with a screen. The survey assessed what impact screen time has on dietary habits, sleep duration, and quality. It also analyzes the impact of screen time usage on perceived stress, self-rated health, physical activity, and body mass index.
Through the study, scientists found that different types of screen time use affect dietary habits differently. The heavy-users of television and smartphones show the least healthy dietary patterns.
However, heavy-users of TV-connected devices, laptops, and tablets have shown better dietary habits. Moreover, the heavy-users of smartphones have shown the lowest quality of sleep.
The Health Implications Of Screen Time
The impact of excessive use of smartphones is that the sleep cycle and quality become poor. Such a person may sleep for hours but yet feel sleep-deprived and lethargic.
Also, it reduces an individual’s performance. Furthermore, excessive screen usage makes an individual obese that’s because such a person develops an urge to eat more. Food consumption increases, and eating in front of the television or using smartphones also increases stress levels.
However, researchers need to study more to understand the specific screen time effects on mental and physical health. In another study yet to be published, Wharton discovered that omitting screens from an individual’s life has productive effects on health.
Furthermore, the social life of such people improves positively. They begin to learn new skills like cooking, painting, singing so that they can productively spend their time. They have a surplus amount of time for personality grooming.
During COVID-19 pandemic, most of our time was on screens. Our lives revolve around screens. The present generation is addicted to smartphones. Some teenagers even feel anxious without the screens in their life.
However, now is the time to focus on our health before it becomes too late. Screens are dominating us, leading to serious health issues. To reduce screen time use is a necessity for our mental and physical health.