Culture 3 min read

Daily Smartphone Usage of Five Hours or More May Increase Obesity Risk

While smartphones have made many things easier for people nowadays, experts warn that excessive smartphone usage could increase your risk of obesity.

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Image courtesy of Shutterstuck

Our smartphones have become an essential part of our daily lives. Whether we’re using it for work, communication, or as a source on entertainment, 1.56 billion people across the world are always using their Smartphone.

This leads to a decrease in physical activity, and as a result, an increased risk of obesity. Now a recent study presented at the ACC Latin America Conference 2019 is confirming this belief.

University students whose daily smartphone usage is five or more hours have a 43 percent increased risk of obesity. Also, they are more likely to have lifestyle habits that could increase the risk of heart diseases.

In a statement, the lead author of the study, and Cardiac Pulmonary and Vascular Rehabilitation specialist, Mirary Mantilla-Morrón, said:

“Spending too much time in front of the Smartphone facilitates sedentary behaviors and reduces the time of physical activity. This increases the risk of premature death, diabetes, heart disease, different types of cancer, osteoarticular discomfort, and musculoskeletal symptoms.”

Finding The Link Between Smartphone Usage and Obesity

For the study, the researchers analyzed over 1,000 students from the Health Sciences Faculty at the Simón Bolívar University for six months – June to December 2018. The participants consist of 360 men and 700 women, with an average age of 20 and 19 years, respectively.

The team estimated that the participating women were 63.9 percent likely to be overweight and 57.4 percent likely to be obese. The men, on the other hand, were 36.1 percent likely to be overweight and 42.6 percent likely to be obese.

But the number increased significantly when the researchers factored in smartphone usage of five hours or more every day.

The researchers noted a 43 percent increase in the risk of obesity when a participant spent five hours or more on their smartphone. Twenty-six percent of the participants who were overweight and 4.6 percent who were obese did just that.

So, what’s the link between smartphone usage and obesity?

According to the researchers, the participating students were twice as likely to consume fast food, snacks, sweets, and sugary food. When you combine that with the sedentary lifestyle that comes with extended smartphone use, the findings are not so far-fetched.

“The results of this study allow us to highlight one of the main causes of physical obesity, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” Mantilla-Morrón said. “We have also determined that the amount of time in which a person is exposed to the use of technologies — specifically prolonged cell phone use — is associated with the development of obesity.”

Read More: Using Your Smartphone at the Store Could Make You Buy More

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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