All screens toxic for teen health

29 Mar 2022

Whether it is watching television or playing electronic games, teenagers are experiencing serious physical and mental health consequences after just two hours of screen use, according to University of Queensland-led research.

UQ School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences researcher Associate Professor Asad Khan said the global study of more than 400,000 adolescents is the first to provide evidence that both passive and mentally active screen time adversely affects teens’ mental wellbeing.

“Teens need to be limited to less than two hours per day, whether it’s passive screen time which includes watching a TV series and scrolling on social media or mentally active screen time, like playing computer games or using a computer for entertainment purposes,” Dr Khan said.

Key study findings showed teen boys who watched more than four hours of television per day, compared with those who watched less than two hours per day were 67 per cent more likely to report high psychosomatic complaints while girls were at slightly higher risk at 71 per cent.

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The research was conducted in collaboration with Queen’s University and University of Ottawa, Canada.