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Association of screen time with subjective health complaints in Iranian school-aged children and adolescents: the CASPIAN-V study

  • Romina Faridizad
  • Zeinab Ahadi
  • Ramin Heshmat
  • Mohammad Esmaeil Motlagh
  • Ali Sheidaei
  • Hasan Ziaodini
  • Majzoubeh Taheri
  • Mostafa QorbaniEmail author
  • Sadegh Baradaran MahdaviEmail author
  • Roya Kelishadi
Original Article
  • 4 Downloads

Abstract

Background

Sedentary leisure time might be affecting children’s and adolescents’ general health. We investigated the association between watching television and computer use in this age group and psychosomatic health complaints.

Methods

This study of 14,274 students aged 7–18 years was conducted in Iran between 2014 and 2015, as part of the fifth school-based nationwide health survey named the childhood and adolescence surveillance and prevention of adult non-communicable disease (CASPIAN-V) study. In addition to gathering data on time spent watching television or using a computer per day, we categorized the health complaints into somatic (headache, backache, stomach ache, and feeling dizzy) and psychological (feeling low, feeling nervous, irritability, and difficulty falling asleep) symptoms. Regression models were used to determine the relationships between variables.

Results

All psychological health complaints, as well as headaches, were significantly more prevalent in the over-14 age group, both in girls and boys. Lower socioeconomic status, living in families where one or two parents were absent, and living in urban areas were all associated with higher psychosomatic health problems. Also, more time spent watching television was associated with more stomach aches and irritability (OR = 1.12 and 1.14 respectively). More time spent using a computer correlated with a higher prevalence of stomach aches, irritability, feeling nervous, and difficulty falling asleep (OR = 1.15, 1.12, 1.29, and 1.07 respectively).

Conclusion

Prolonged time spent on television watching or computer use might be associated with adverse effects on children’s and adolescents’ psychosomatic health status.

Keywords

Child Adolescent Screen time Subjective health complaints Television 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We want to thank the large team working on this project as well as all study participants.

Author’s contribution

RF contributed in the conception of the work, manuscript preparation, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

ZA contributed in study design, data acquisition, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

RH contributed in the conception of the work, study design, interpretation of data, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

MEM contributed in study design, data acquisition, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

AS contributed in statistical analysis, interpretation of data, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

HZ contributed in study design, data acquisition, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

MT contributed in the conception of the work, data acquisition, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

MQ contributed in statistical analysis, interpretation of data, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

SBM contributed in the conception of the work, manuscript preparation, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

RK contributed in the conception of the work, study design, manuscript revision, and final approval of the manuscript, and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

Funding

This study was funded by Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran (Project No. 194049).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Student Research Committee, School of MedicineIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Pediatrics Department, Child Growth, and Development Research Center, Research Institute for Primordial Prevention of Non-communicable DiseaseIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  3. 3.Chronic Diseases Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences InstituteTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Pediatrics DepartmentAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsShahid Beheshti University of Medical ScienceTehranIran
  6. 6.Bureau of Health and FitnessMinistry of Education and TrainingTehranIran
  7. 7.Office of Adolescents and School HealthMinistry of Health and Medical EducationTehranIran
  8. 8.Non-Communicable Diseases Research CenterAlborz University of Medical SciencesKarajIran
  9. 9.Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences InstituteTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  10. 10.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of MedicineIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran

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