Survey indicates alarming rate of teenagers using multimedia devices for long hours

Survey indicates alarming rate of teenagers using multimedia devices for long hours

Six percent of teenagers in Cyprus use multimedia devices for more than 15 hours per day, according to a survey entitled “Attitudes of life” conducted in 2015 by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute and The Research and Education Institute of Child Health.

A second survey conducted by the `I Family` of the Institute of Child Health says teenagers use the internet and multimedia for more than two hours per day. It also notes that this affects negatively their mental and physical health, family relations, self-respect and contributes to weight increase including an increase in waist circumference and body mass index.

During a press conference on the start of a campaign on how to protect children from Non-Ionizing Radiation, head of the Educational Technology department at the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, Anastasia Economou said that teenagers nowadays use their computers, smartphones and tablets more than television sets.

They use computers, smartphones and tablets around four hours per day during the week and 5.5 hours during the weekends and watch around two hours of television during the weekdays and three over the weekends.

Economou said that the fact that six percent of children state that they use multimedia devices more than 15 hours per day is very disturbing.

The survey showed that the devices mostly present in children`s bedrooms are mobile phones (more than 80%), computers with internet connectivity (55%) and television sets (45%).

Forty-two percent of boys and 36% of girls state that they have more than three multimedia devices with monitors. The use of multimedia from five hours per day from the first grade of secondary school gradually increases to seven hours per day in students of third grade of secondary school, the survey says.

Addressing the conference, Health Minister George Pamborides said that in the framework of the campaign to inform on protecting and lessening children`s exposure to non-iodizing radiation, the ministry will hold a number of events to enlighten the public.

Participating in the campaign are also the Ministry of Communications, Transport and Works as well as the office of the Commissioner for the Environment.

The campaign for the prevention and reduction of exposure of children to Non-Ionizing Radiation (mobile phones, tablets, connections via Wi-Fi, etc.) launched on Friday will cover preschool and elementary school children and will include education and awareness activities.

It will also cover the effects of multimedia use in the children`s mental health.