Use of electronic media in adolescence

The developments in the field of media are advancing rapidly and media consumption among children and young people is having an increasing impact on leisure time behavior. Milestones in the past few years have been computers, mobile phones, various game consoles, and of course the Internet for searching things such as car cover.

Health and media use

The health consequences of intensive media use are controversial. In addition to psychosomatic complaints, developmental psychological problems, and behavioral problems, e.g. as a result of depictions of violence in the media, media use is assumed to be one of the main reasons for an allegedly increasing lack of exercise and obesity.

However, this is contradicted by the fact that sport has continued to play an important role in the leisure activities of children and young people.

Media use and physical activity

The relationship between physical activity and media consumption can at best be described as moderate. An effect on physical inactivity can only be determined after intensive media use from five hours a day. This relationship is only significant in boys.

Media use and obesity

The amount of time young people spend using electronic media on a daily basis is alarmingly high, this is mainly because this activity is not conducive to the community. A restriction in physical activity and an increase in obesity and overweight only appear to be detectable with very intensive media use; for times of less than three hours there does not seem to be a significant connection.

Recommendations for media consumption in children

Some recommendations for you that can serve as a guide for appropriate media consumption among children.

  • No TV/laptop in the children’s room
  • Age-related restrictions on media consumption in leisure time:
      • Up to 2 years – 0 min.
      • Kindergarten age – max. 30 min
      • Primary school age – max. 60 min
      • From 12 years – max. 120 min

Media consumption by children must not lead to a displacement of sporting activities or classic outdoor play. Here, of course, parents are also responsible for ensuring that their children’s media consumption is within a reasonable range. Sports camps can offer a perfect balance to frequent media consumption, with the aim of getting participants enthusiastic about sport and exercise in the long term.