[Use of electronic media in adolescence. Results of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS)]

Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. May-Jun 2007;50(5-6):643-52. doi: 10.1007/s00103-007-0225-7.
[Article in German]


The use of electronic media is playing an ever greater role in adolescents' recreational behaviour. From the point of view of the health sciences, one question which arises is the extent to which intensive media use is detrimental to physical activity and adolescents' health development. The data from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), which were evaluated with a focus on 11-17-year-olds, confirm this heavy use of electronic media. However, there are distinct group-specific differences. For example, boys spend more time than girls on computers, the internet and games consoles, whereas girls more often listen to music and use their mobile phones. Watching television and videos is equally popular among girls and boys. Adolescents of low social status or a low level of school education use electronic media far more frequently and for longer times, especially television and video, games consoles and mobile phones. The same is true of boys and girls from the former states of the GDR and for boys (but not girls) with a background of migration. A connection to physical activity has been established for adolescents who spend more than five hours a day using electronic media. Moreover, this group of heavy users is more often affected by adiposity. The results of the KiGGS study, which are in line with earlier research findings, thus demonstrate that the use of electronic media is also of relevance from the point of view of public health and should be included in investigations into the health of children and adolescents.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Computers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Environment
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sports / statistics & numerical data
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Television / statistics & numerical data*
  • Video Games / statistics & numerical data*