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.
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).
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.
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.