Using your phone over 5 hours a day increases the risk of obesity

Students who use smartphones over 5 hours a day increase their risk of obesity by 43% and have many other bad habits.

Currently, smartphones are a means associated with our lives. It has become a basic source of entertainment (especially for young people), making many people restrict physical activities. 


College students are probably one of the population groups that use smartphones the most. According to a recent study published at ACC Latin American Conference 2019, college students who use their smartphones for more than 5 hours a day increase their risk of obesity by 43% and they have many other lifestyle habits that increase the risk of heart disease. The author of the study is Mirary Mantilla-Morrón - an expert in cardiac and cardiac rehabilitation at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simón Bolívar University in Barranquilla, Colombia. 

She says that it is important for people to know and realize that, although mobile technology is extremely attractive due to multi-purpose, mobility, comfort, access to countless services, sources of information and entertainment, it should also be used to improve healthy habits and behaviors. Smartphones seem to have become an indispensable item in every person's life, but it also has many potential dangers that you don't expect. Spending too much time on smartphones makes a condition for sedentary behaviors, reduces physical activity time, increases the risk of premature death, diabetes, heart disease, different types of cancer, irritating joints and musculoskeletal symptoms. 


Researchers analyzed 1060 students of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simón Bolívar University for 6 months (from June to December 2018). The study group included 700 female students and 360 male students with an average age of 19-20 years old. Among male participants, 36.1% were overweight and 42.6% were likely to be obese. The group of participating women had an overweight capacity of 63.9% and 57.4% were likely to be obese. 


The researchers found that the risk of obesity increased by 43% if they used smartphones for 5 hours or more every day. These students were able to use more fast food, sweets, snacks, sugary drinks and reduce physical activities. 26% of people were overweight and 4.6% of obese people spent more than 5 hours using their mobile devices. Mantilla-Morrón said: "The results of this study allow us to highlight one of the main causes of physical obesity, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We have also identified that the amount of time that a person is exposed to the use of technologies, particularly long-term mobile phone use, is related to the development of obesity." 


By: Gitta Russell

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