Article ID: JE20170100
Background: Prolonged screen time (ST), which includes TV viewing and gaming on smartphones and computers, is linked to poor health. Our aim was to explore the associations between school children with prolonged ST and parental internet use (IU) and lifestyles in Japan.
Methods: Children aged 6 to 13 years from the Super Shokuiku School Project, were surveyed using questionnaires in 2016. The survey assessed the grade, sex, and lifestyle of 1,659 children and parental internet use (IU) and lifestyle using Breslow’s seven health behaviors. IU consisted of internet surfing and gaming on personal computers (PC), smartphones, or consoles. Three or more hours of ST was defined as prolonged ST, and its correlates were analyzed using logistic regression.
Results: Of all, 643 (38.8%) children spent ≥2 hours/day of ST on a week day, whilst 153 (9.2%) children spent ≥3 hours/day. Prolonged ST was significantly associated with children in higher grade (odds ratio [OR] 1.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20–2.51), boys (OR 2.16; 95% CI, 1.49–3.14), skipping breakfast (OR 1.88; 95% CI, 1.05–3.35), late bedtime (OR 1.80; 95% CI, 1.15–2.82), physical inactivity (OR 1.79; 95% CI, 1.12–2.87), father’s IU ≥2 hours/day (OR 2.35; 95% CI, 1.52–3.63), mother’s prolonged IU ≥2 hours/day (OR 2.55; 95% CI, 1.43–4.52), mothers with unhealthy behaviors (OR 1.81; 95% CI, 1.05–3.13), no rule setting governing screen time (OR 2.41; 95% CI, 1.63–3.58), and mothers with full-time employment (OR 1.95; 95% CI, 1.06–3.64).
Conclusions: Prolonged ST among Japanese children was strongly associated with parental IU, no set rules for ST, and mother’s unhealthy lifestyles. To reduce children’s ST, parental engagement is warranted in the intervention strategy.