Screen-Based Behaviors of Adolescents in Bangladesh

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

The time spent by adolescents in electronic screen-based activities has been associated with obesity and other adverse health outcomes; however, little is known about screen-based behaviors in Asian adolescents. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence, patterns, and correlates of recreational screen-based behaviors among adolescents in Bangladesh.

Methods:

A total of 758 students (52% girls), aged 13 to 16 years, from 8 secondary schools of Dhaka city, Bangladesh, completed a survey in which the Adolescent Sedentary Activity Questionnaire was used to collect information on screen time. Total screen time was categorized as ≤2 h/day (low) or >2 h/day (high).

Results:

Approximately 79% of the adolescents had high recreational screen time, with similar values for boys (78%) and girls (80%). Median reported recreational screen time was 4.0 h/day; boys had longer times (4.3 h/day) than girls (3.6 h/day). Multivariable analyses showed that high screen time was more common among boys than girls and was positively associated with commuting to school by car, consumption of fast food ≥3 times/week, having sleep disturbance, and high family income.

Conclusions:

This study identified high rates of recreational screen time among urban adolescents in Bangladesh and specific correlates of prolonged screen time; the results underscore the need to develop pragmatic strategies to reduce sedentariness among adolescents in Bangladesh.

Khan is with the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia. Burton is with the School of Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia.

Khan (a.khan2@uq.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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