How the Daily Smartphone is Associated With Daily Travel, Physical Activity, and Self-Perceived Health: Evidence From 2017 National Household Travel Survey

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Knowledge of how smartphone use in daily life, rather than in the context of intervention, may influence people’s behaviors and health is limited and mixed. The 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data were used to examine the associations between daily smartphone use and several outcomes, including engaging in vigorous physical activity, self-perceived being healthy, and the adjusted mean differences for total trips and active travels among older adults (≥65 years) as well as among young and middle-aged groups (18–64 years), respectively. The prevalence of daily smartphone use declined with increasing age. Daily smartphone use was associated with increased total trips and active travel, a higher likelihood of engaging in vigorous physical activity, and in self-perceived being healthy status. The associations were stronger among older adults than young and middle-aged adults. More studies are needed to address the complex pathways among daily smartphone use and other outcomes. Daily smartphone use has the potential to address the unmet daily needs of older adults and bridge health disparities for this disadvantaged group.

Yang is with the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA. S. Li is with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, The City University of New York, New York, NY, USA. Zhang is with the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA. Xiang is with the School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Z. Li is with the School of Urban Designs, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China. Ahn is with the Division of Health Systems Management and Policy, School of Public Health, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA. Murphy is with the Department of Psychology, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA.

Yang (yyang15@memphis.edu) is corresponding author.
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