If you’re counting calories in an effort to keep your weight under control, you might want to start keeping tabs on how much time you spend on your smartphone. According to new research, time spent on smartphones is directly linked to a greater risk of gaining weight or becoming obese.
A study, conducted over several months at Simon Bolivar University in 2018, looked at a total of 1,060 students. Those that were on their phone for five or more hours each day increased their risk of obesity by 43 percent. Researchers also looked at people who were already overweight or obese. Twenty-six percent of overweight people and 4.6 percent spent more than five hours a day on their smartphones.
Students with higher smartphone usage were also less likely to participate in physical activity and were also more likely to consume unhealthy food.
Head researcher Mirary Mantilla-Morron, who is a cardiac pulmonary and vascular rehabilitation specialist at Simon Bolivar, had a grim assessment of smartphone usage’s effect on health. “Spending too much time in front of the smartphone facilitates sedentary behaviors, reduces the time of physical activity, which increases the risk of premature death, diabetes, heart disease, different types of cancer, osteoarticular discomfort and musculoskeletal symptoms,” she said.
The bottom line: put your phone down and get active as much as possible!