Depression linked to screen time

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 56, No. 4, May 2014, Pages 178-179 News

Findings in a recent article published in Preventive Medicine reveal that young men who have experienced depression early in life may be especially vulnerable to becoming sedentary later in life, and particularly to spending large amounts of time in front of a screen each day.

A study of 761 adults in Montreal who were identified at 20 years old as suffering from the symptoms of depression were asked to keep track of how much leisure time they spent in front of a TV or a computer screen (playing games or using the Internet) 4 years later. Researchers discovered striking differences between the amount of time young men spend in front of a screen compared with young women—an average of 4 more hours each week—and found the total number of hours spent in front of a screen was over 21 hours per week (more than twice the level of screen-time recommended by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology for children and adolescents).

The next phase will look at how this screen time is being spent by men vs women, whether on social interactions and communications (activities that will help them deal with depression) or nonsocial interactions such as game-playing or checking the news (activities which may help them avoid the problem). To read the article, “Symptoms of depression are longitudinally associated with sedentary behaviors among young men but not among young women,” visit

. Depression linked to screen time. BCMJ, Vol. 56, No. 4, May, 2014, Page(s) 178-179 - News.

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