Impact of increasing social media use on sitting time and body mass indexStephanie Alley A E , Pauline Wellens B , Stephanie Schoeppe A , Hein de Vries B , Amanda L. Rebar A , Camille E. Short C , Mitch J. Duncan D and Corneel Vandelanotte A
A Physical Activity Research Group, School of Human, Health and Social Sciences, Building 18, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Qld 4702, Australia.
B Department of Health Promotion, Caphri Research School, Maastricht University, POB 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, Netherlands.
C Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.
D School of Medicine and Public Health; Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia.
E Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Promotion Journal of Australia 28(2) 91-95 https://doi.org/10.1071/HE16026
Submitted: 7 April 2016 Accepted: 15 September 2016 Published: 28 October 2016
Issue addressed: Sedentary behaviours, in particular sitting, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and poorer mental health status. In Australia, 70% of adults sit for more than 8 h per day. The use of social media applications (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) is on the rise; however, no studies have explored the association of social media use with sitting time and body mass index (BMI).
Methods: Cross-sectional self-report data on demographics, BMI and sitting time were collected from 1140 participants in the 2013 Queensland Social Survey. Generalised linear models were used to estimate associations of a social media score calculated from social media use, perceived importance of social media, and number of social media contacts with sitting time and BMI.
Results: Participants with a high social media score had significantly greater sitting times while using a computer in leisure time and significantly greater total sitting time on non-workdays. However, no associations were found between social media score and sitting to view TV, use motorised transport, work or participate in other leisure activities; or total workday, total sitting time or BMI.
Conclusions: These results indicate that social media use is associated with increased sitting time while using a computer, and total sitting time on non-workdays.
So what?: The rise in social media use may have a negative impact on health by contributing to computer sitting and total sitting time on non-workdays. Future longitudinal research with a representative sample and objective sitting measures is needed to confirm findings.
Key words: computer, screen time, sedentary behaviour, social networking.
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