A recent study published by researchers from the University of Seville shows that university students make excessive use of their mobile phones. The study, published in Sustainability, relates the number of hours that young people spend sitting down, their level of physical activity, and state of mind when using a mobile phone. Students with lower levels of physical activity used their mobile phones almost three times more than others. Those reporting poorer sleep quality also used these devices more.
Another recent publication by the same research group went into these issues in greater detail and shows that young people (university students aged 20-36) used their mobile phone 6 hours a day on average before lockdown, increasing to over 8 hours a day on average during lockdown.
“These data are very worrying if we consider that scientific evidence shows that a high number of hours sitting (more than 8 hours/day) or an excessive use of screen devices (3-4 hours/day) is linked with a higher risk of mortality,” says first author Borja Sañudo, PhD, MSc, in a release.
The conclusions of the research show that the containment measures adopted during COVID-19 had a major impact on the habits of this demographic group, especially on their levels of physical activity (which decreased significantly), but also on their sedentary lifestyle, increasing the time they remained seated (approximately 6 hours a day on average before the lockdown and about 10 hours a day during). These bad habits had a negative impact on the health of these young people and significantly worsened their sleep quality.
Studies such as these highlight the need to take measures that encourage people to avoid a sedentary lifestyle, contributing to increasing physical activity levels, and reducing the use of mobile phones, and thus improving the population’s health through behavioral changes, the authors say.