Research Article| Volume 186, P241-246, May 01, 2015

Duration of daily TV/screen watching with cardiovascular, respiratory, mental and psychiatric health: Scottish Health Survey, 2012–2013

  • Ivy Shiue
    Heriot-Watt University Riccarton, EH14 4AS, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
    School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society, Heriot-Watt University, UK
    Owens Institute for Behavioral Research, University of Georgia, USA
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      The link of duration of TV and/or screen watching and chronic health conditions by subtypes is unclear. Therefore, the relationship between TV and/or screen watching hours and cardiovascular, respiratory, mental and psychiatric health and well-being (happiness) was assessed in an independent population-based survey to identify correlations of various hours with health conditions.


      Data was retrieved from the Scottish Health Survey, 2012–2013. Information on demographics, lifestyle factors, self-reported health conditions and TV and/or screen watching duration in both Scottish adults and children was collected by annual household interviews. Chi-square test and survey weighted logistic and multi-nominal modelling were performed.


      5527 (57.0%) Scottish adults aged 16–99 watched TV and/or screen daily for 3 + h on average. There was a trend toward more hypertension, angina, stroke, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and poor self-rated health and mental health. Reporting watching TV and/or screen for 4 + h, for 5 + h and for 8 + h was associated with higher rates of heart attack, heart murmur or other heart troubles and abnormal heart rhythms, respectively. 414 (20.7%) Scottish children aged 4–12 watched TV and/or screen for 3 h or more. They tended to have poor self-rated health and life difficulties perceived as emotional and behavioural problems.


      There were associations between various hours of TV and/or screen watching (3 + h) and poor health observed both in Scottish adults and children. Future educational and public health programmes minimising TV and/or screen watching in order to protect cardiovascular, respiratory, mental and psychiatric health might be considered.


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