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BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 432.
Published online Jun 13, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2458-12-432
PMCID: PMC3408354
Combined influence of media use on subjective health in elementary school children in Japan: a population-based study
Harunobu Nakamura,corresponding author#1 Kumiko Ohara,#1 Katsuyasu Kouda,#2 Yuki Fujita,#2 Tomoki Mase,#1,3 Chiemi Miyawaki,#1 Yoshimitsu Okita,#4 and Tetsuya Ishikawa#1
1Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University, 3-11 Tsurukabuto, Nada, Kobe, Japan
2Department of Public Health, Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, 377-2 Ohno-higashi, Osaka-sayama, Japan
3Department of Childhood Education, Nagoya Women's University, 1302 Takamiya, Tenpaku, Nagoya, Japan
4Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1 Johoku, Naka, Hamamatsu, Japan
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
#Contributed equally.
Harunobu Nakamura: hal/at/kobe-u.ac.jp; Kumiko Ohara: ohara/at/stu.kobe-u.ac.jp; Katsuyasu Kouda: kouda/at/med.kindai.ac.jp; Yuki Fujita: yfujita/at/med.kindai.ac.jp; Tomoki Mase: mase.nagoya-wu/at/live.jp; Chiemi Miyawaki: chiemi.miyawaki/at/nifty.com; Yoshimitsu Okita: dyokita/at/ipc.shizuoka.ac.jp; Tetsuya Ishikawa: ishikawa/at/sings.jp
Received January 11, 2012; Accepted June 13, 2012.
Abstract
Background
In recent years in Japan, electronic games, home computers, and the internet have assumed an important place in people’s lives, even for elementary school children. Subjective health complaints have also become a problem among children. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between media use and health status in elementary school children in Japan.
Methods
A cross-sectional school-based population survey was conducted in 2009 with a sample of fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade children (age range: 10–12 years old) in elementary schools in Japan (n = 3,464). Self-reported health, lifestyle habits, and time spent using media were assessed.
Results
The use of games, television, and personal computers was significantly associated with lifestyle (p < 0.05) and subjective health (p < 0.05). In addition, the use of games, the use of television, and the use of personal computers were mutually associated. The greater the number of media used for more than 1 hour was, the higher the odds ratio of the association of media use with unhealthy lifestyle and subjective health complaints was. The plural use of these media had stronger associations with unhealthy lifestyle and subjective health complaints.
Conclusions
Game, television, and personal-computer use were mutually associated, and the plural use of these media had stronger associations with unhealthy lifestyle and subjective health complaints. Excessive use of media might be a risk for unhealthy lifestyle and subjective health complaints.
Keywords: Children, Media, Lifestyle, Subjective health
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