Study finds girls suffer mental health impacts after just two hours of screen time

12 Aug 2021

UQ School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences researcher Associate Professor Asad Khan features in this ABC News story about the mental health impacts from adolescents' excess screen time.

New global research has found excess screen time and a lack of physical activity is harming the mental health of adolescents.

The study of more than 577,000 children – aged between 11 and 15 – from 42 high-income countries was published in The Lancet.

It found detrimental mental health impacts start after two hours of screen use for girls and after four hours for boys.

Screen use included television, video games and social media, but excluded screen time for academic purposes.

The study's lead author Asad Khan, from The University of Queensland School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, said they measured life satisfaction and psychosomatic health in participants.

"What we found was that mental health is a big issue," Dr Khan said.

"We have also started seeing evidence coming through the scientific literature that overuse of screen time for recreation is also causing some issues in academic achievement, attention and other psychosocial problems like attention deficiency disorder syndrome.

"We have also seen that it is linked with depression and anxiety in this particular paediatric population."

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