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Glued to your cell phone? Research suggests it may reduce your physical activity and fitness

Date:
July 10, 2013
Source:
Kent State University
Summary:
Today's smartphones allow for increased opportunities for activities traditionally defined as sedentary behaviors, such as surfing the internet, emailing and playing video games. However, researchers have linked high cell phone use to poor fitness in college students.

Today's smartphones allow for increased opportunities for activities traditionally defined as sedentary behaviors, such as surfing the internet, emailing and playing video games. However, researchers Jacob Barkley and Andrew Lepp, faculty members in the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University, linked high cell phone use to poor fitness in college students.

Barkley and Lepp were interested in the relationship between smartphones and fitness levels because, unlike the television, phones are small and portable, therefore making it possible to use them while doing physical activity. But what the researchers found was that despite the phone's mobility, high use contributed to a sedentary lifestyle for some subjects.

More than 300 college students from the Midwest were surveyed on their cell phone usage and activity level. Of those students, 49 had their fitness level and body composition tested. The researchers' results showed that students who spent large amounts of time on their cell phones -- as much as 14 hours per day -- were less fit than those who averaged a little more than 90 minutes of cell phone use daily.

One subject said in the interview data: "Now that I have switched to the iPhone I would say it definitely decreases my physical activity because before I just had a Blackberry, so I didn't have much stuff on it. But now, if I'm bored, I can just download whatever I want."

The study is believed to the first to assess the relationship between cell phone use and fitness level among any population. Barkley and Lepp conclude that their findings suggest that cell phone use may be able to gauge a person's risk for a multitude of health issues related to an inactive lifestyle.

The study appears online in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kent State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew Lepp, Jacob E Barkley, Gabriel J Sanders, Michael Rebold, Peter Gates. The relationship between cell phone use, physical and sedentary activity, and cardiorespiratory fitness in a sample of U.S. college students. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2013; 10 (1): 79 DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-10-79

Cite This Page:

Kent State University. "Glued to your cell phone? Research suggests it may reduce your physical activity and fitness." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142014.htm>.
Kent State University. (2013, July 10). Glued to your cell phone? Research suggests it may reduce your physical activity and fitness. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142014.htm
Kent State University. "Glued to your cell phone? Research suggests it may reduce your physical activity and fitness." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130710142014.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

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