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

July 10, 2013

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 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 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 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.

Explore further: Soccer kicks up activity level of overweight kids, research finds

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Bright lighting encourages healthy food choices

May 26, 2016

Dining in dimly lit restaurants has been linked to eating slowly and ultimately eating less than in brighter restaurants, but does lighting also impact how healthfully we order?

Big Data can save lives, says leading cancer expert

May 16, 2016

The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.

New soap to ward off malaria carrying mosquitoes

May 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress)—Gérard Niyondiko along with colleagues Frank Langevin and Lisa Barutel has posted a project on the crowd source funding site ulule for a product called Faso Soap. They claim the soap can cut in half the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.