Prevalence of excess screen time among secondary school children in rural India: a cause for concern


School-children, Rural, India, Screen-time, Device, Mobile


Introduction: Screen time has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among children and teenagers. This has come at the expense of their healthy eating habits, physical activity and adequate amount of quality sleep. The excessive use of screen-device can lead to addiction which starts during adolescent years Objectives: 1) To assess prevalence of excess screen time among secondary school children. 2) To correlate BMI, sleep duration, duration of physical activity and food habits with screen time duration. Study settings and design: Cross-sectional study was conducted in secondary schools in the rural field practice area of a private medical college in Pune, India Methods and Material: The study included 184 school children from eighth to tenth standard. Data was collected using a self-administered, validated questionnaire. Results: Prevalence of excess screen time among secondary school children was 83.2%. Mobile phone was the most used device (98.9 %). There was a significant association between excess screen time and inadequate sleep. Conclusions: The present study reports high prevalence of excess screen time in rural school going children in rural India. There is a need for strategies to combat this in school health programs on priority.


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