Smart Device Use and Perceived Physical and Psychosocial Outcomes among Hong Kong Adolescents

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Feb 18;14(2):205. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14020205.


Excessive electronic screen-based activities have been found to be associated with negative outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalences and patterns of smart device activities and the purposes and perceived outcomes related to smart device use, and the differences in patterns of smart device activities between adolescents who did and did not perceive these outcomes. The study was a cross-sectional survey of Hong Kong primary and secondary school students. Demographic characteristics, purpose and pattern of the activities, and frequencies of the outcomes were measured. Data from 960 adolescents aged 10-19 were analyzed. Nearly 86% of the sample use smart device daily. The one-week prevalence of perceived sleep deprivation, eye discomfort, musculoskeletal discomfort, family conflict and cyberbullying victimization related to smart device use were nearly 50%, 45%, 40%, 20% and 5% respectively. More than 25% of the respondents were at risk of negative outcomes related to smart device activities for more than 1 h per day, browsing and gaming on at least 4 days per week and watching TV/movies and posting on more than 2 days per week. Their patterns of smart device activities may put a significant number of them at risk of negative outcomes.

Keywords: adolescents; physical and psychosocial outcomes; smart device.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bullying
  • Child
  • Computers, Handheld / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology
  • Young Adult