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BMC Public Health. 2012; 12: 432.
Published online 2012 June 13. 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

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

Articles from BMC Public Health are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central