An Exploration of the Relationship Between Mobile Phone Dependence and Health Related Lifestyle Factors in University Students.
(2016) An Exploration of the Relationship Between Mobile Phone Dependence and Health Related Lifestyle Factors in University Students., no. 32.
Background: Today's mobile phone has substantially evolved from its original purpose to provide communication between two people. For many, mobile phones now facilitate a number of day to day activities. Their increased capabilities have brought significant rises in global mobile phone use which has led researchers to question whether this increased pervasiveness may present in some cases as mobile phone dependence and as such, be associated with negative outcomes. Scholars have predominantly focussed such research around relationships between mobile phone dependence and psychosocial factors such as anxiety and depression. Considerably fewer have explored possible relationships that mobile phone dependence may have with health related lifestyle factors. Furthermore, this concept is yet to be studied within a Scottish population which as one that presents with significant population wide health concerns such as rising obesity rates, could benefit from this research. Aim: To explore the relationship between mobile phone dependence and health related lifestyle factors in a yet to be examined population. Body Mass Index (BMI), smoking status, saturated fat and free sugar intake, alcohol consumption, alcohol behaviour, physical activity and sedentary behaviour were all explored in order to identify any significant associations. Methods: The 21 participants were provided with a questionnaire booklet which allowed the collection of self-reported data in order to ascertain information regarding demographics, mobile phone use, BMI, smoking status, dietary fat and sugar intake, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, alcohol intake and alcohol behaviour. Results: Saturated fat and free sugar intake (p=0.90), alcohol behaviour (p=0.214), physical activity (p=0.056) and sedentary behaviour (p=0.101) were all found not to be significantly associated with mobile phone dependence. Statistical analysis should that both BMI (p=0.016) and alcohol consumption (p=0.024) were significantly associated with mobile phone dependence. Smoking and mobile phone dependence could not be assessed as no subject reported themselves as being a smoker. Conclusion: 14% of subjects were found to be mobile phone dependent. It was also established that mobile phone dependence significantly related to some health-related lifestyle factors; high BMI and increased alcohol consumption. Whilst it did not significantly relate to saturated-fat and free sugar intake, alcohol behaviour, physical activity or sedentary behaviour. KEY WORDS: MOBILE, PHONE, DEPENDENCE, HEALTH, LIFESTYLE