Association between screen time and depression among US adults

Prev Med Rep. 2017 Aug 16:8:67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2017.08.005. eCollection 2017 Dec.


Epidemiological surveys conducted in general populations have found that the prevalence of depression is about 9% in the United States. World Health Organization has projected that depression will be leading cause of disease burden by the year 2030. Growing evidence suggests that sedentary lifestyle is an important risk factor of depression among adults. The relationship between television watching/computer use and depression in US adults is still unknown. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between television watching/computer use and depression. This is a cross-sectional study that used the secondary data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) (2011/2012). Participants were 3201 US adults who were 20 years or more. Self-reported Patient Health Questionnaire-9 [PHQ-9] was used to classify depression level; self-reported hours of watching TV and use of computer/day, and demographic information were obtained from NHANES data set. SAS®9.4was used to perform all statistical analyses and final model selection procedure. Depression was found to be significantly higher among female. Results showed that moderate or severe depression level was associated with higher time spent on TV watching and use of computer (> 6 h/day) (adjusted odds ratio: 2.3, 95% CI: 1.602-3.442). Duration of screen time was significantly associated when all covariates were adjusted. TV watching and computer use can predict the depression level among adults. Prospective studies and measurement of factors such as: work place sitting, social relationship, and family history of depression are warranted.

Keywords: Depression; National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey; TV and computer screen time.