More Than Fours of Daily Smartphone Usage among Teenagers Increases Risk Of Mental Health Issues

In Education

Excessive smartphone use exceeding four hours daily poses a “serious” health risk for teenagers, according to a recent study. The research indicates a correlation between heightened smartphone usage and various health issues, including psychiatric disorders, eye problems, sleep disturbances, and musculoskeletal issues.

Excessive smartphone usage can increase risk of mental health issues

Study findings indicate that teenagers that spend more than four hours daily on their mobile devices face elevated risks of stress, substance use, suicidal thoughts, and obesity.

According to Professor Jong Ho Cha from Hanyang University Medical Center smartphones have become integral to the daily lives of young people. The COVID-19 pandemic, with school closures and social distancing measures, further intensified the reliance on smartphones for various purposes among adolescents. Ho Cha emphasizes that prolonged smartphone usage is associated with numerous adverse health effects in this age group, as indicated by growing evidence.

The study found that moderate internet use of one to two hours per day may have positive effects on the physical and mental health of teenagers, compared to those not using smartphones at all. Also the researchers acknowledge the potential for a reciprocal relationship between phone usage and health risks.

Smartphone usage among adolescents surged from 2017 through 2020

Prof. Cha explains that adverse behavioural health outcomes are associated with excessive smartphone usage, particularly when the usage time exceeds four hours a day. This relationship may also be bidirectional, as previous studies have indicated that adolescents with difficulties in emotional regulation are more likely to engage in excessive smartphone use.

To attain these findings, the researchers examined information derived from a survey conducted online, encompassing data from a cohort of more than 50,000 Korean teenagers. They noted a noteworthy surge in the utilization of smartphones between 2017 and 2020. For instance, in 2020, 85.7% of adolescents were found to use their smartphones for over two hours daily, marking a considerable increase from 64.3% in 2017.

Prof Cha concluded that these research findings published on the PLOS journal can contribute to development of guidelines for teenage smartphone usage.

Mobile Sliding Menu