Always stressed? Your screen time could be the reason why

According to this new study, the increase in time spent viewing content on a screen, both prior to and during the pandemic, was associated with a boost in anxiety scores.
screen time and eyes
Screen time is becoming the culprit behind eye troubles. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
ANI Published: 21 Jun 2021, 10:27 am IST
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According to a new research led by investigators at the Saint James School of Medicine, an increase in screen time among young adults during the Covid-19 pandemic can be correlated with a rise in pandemic-related distress.

The findings of the study were discussed at the World Microbe Forum meeting. The increase in time spent viewing entertainment on a screen both prior to and during the pandemic was associated with a boost in anxiety scores.

Here’s what the study has to say

Students scored higher than non-students in pandemic-related distress. Surprisingly, the results showed no association of depression with screen time use, despite such associations having been found in previous research. The research will be presented at World Microbe Forum, taking place online June 20-24.

“This study highlights that the pandemic did not simply affect people physically, but emotionally and mentally, with various groups being impacted to a greater extent than others,” said Michelle Wiciak, the presenting author on the research, M.D. candidate at Saint James School of Medicine. “It reiterates that there is an increased need for mental health support during disastrous times.”

screen time and stress
Staying glued to your smartphone is a kind of addiction called Nomophobia. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Nearly half of the participants exhibited mild to moderate depression, with more than 70 per cent ranging from mild to severe depression. Seventy percent of participants experienced mild to severe anxiety, and slightly more than 30 per cent could potentially meet DSM-IV-TR criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Two hundred ninety-four responses were collected and validated based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria used in the surveys. Participants ranged from 18 to 28 years old.

Screen time use was not different between genders. Still, there were gender differences in average scores in depression, anxiety and distress from C-19.

screen time and stress
This study on work-related stress has something new to say. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“The study is unique in having evaluated mental health status as a function of screen time,” said Wiciak. The authors also collected data from multiple countries.

Decrease your screen time

“Since the pandemic shifted work and education to online, we wanted to gain more insight into that transition’s impact. We did find unexpected results, potentially paving the way for future research and various protective factors, which can be vital in keeping a person healthy during tumultuous times,” added Wiciak.

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