Sleep, television, texting and computer habits and overweightness in schoolchildren and adolescents

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This chapter provides a synthesis of three earlier published studies (Garmy et al. 2012a; Garmy et al. 2012b; Garmy et al. 2013) (survey I) as well as previously unpublished results from a survey conducted in 2013 among students aged 16 (survey II).

Objective: The aim was to investigate the effects of sleep, television use and texting and computer habits on overweight, enjoyment of school and feelings of tiredness at school in school-age children and adolescents.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Sweden on schoolchildren aged 6, 7, 10, 14 and 16. A questionnaire which had been satisfactorily tested for validity and reliability was distributed to the children (n=3011 in survey I; n=204 in survey II).

Results: Children who slept less than the median length of time reported enjoying school to a lesser degree. Fewer hours of sleep were found to be associated with having a bedroom television, using the television or computer more than 2 hours a day, being tired at school, and having difficulties in sleeping and waking up. Overweight and obesity were found in 15.8% of the study population; obesity alone was found in 3.1%. Relationships between lifestyle factors and overweight were studied using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Having a bedroom television and using the television more than 2 hours per day were found to be associated with overweight, but using the computer more than 2 hours a day was not. About 61% of the students aged 16 reported checking Facebook or social media at least once a day, and 27% reported doing so more than 10 times a day. One fourth of the students aged 16 had a habit of sending or receiving text messages at night at least once a week. Texting at night and frequent checking of Facebook and social media sites were related to sleep problems.

Conclusions: Educating schoolchildren and their parents regarding matters of optimal sleep and how media habits affect sleep, overweight and learning is considered an important task.

Titel på värdpublikationPsychology of habits
RedaktörerRobin Mazzariello
UtgivningsortNew York
FörlagNova Science Publications
Antal sidor15
ISBN (tryckt)978-1-62948-965-0
StatusPublicerad - 2014

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi (30302)


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