Screen Time Study

StatsCan’s Health Reports delivered a one-two punch today with its interrelated reports on “Screen time among Canadian adults: A profile” [or PDF] and “Sedentary behaviour and obesity” [or PDF]:

A recent study of adults based on data from the 2007 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) found evidence that screen time (time spent viewing television and using computers) was positively associated with obesity, inactive leisure time and a poor diet.

I must say that at first blush the screen-time data don’t look as bad as I’d feared: 29% watch two hours of TV a day, and 19% watch more than three hours a day. I wonder if there isn’t substantial underreporting going on here.

Frequent leisure-time computer use was less common. Approximately 15% of adults averaged 11 or more hours per week. Only 6% reported 21 or more hours per week, and close to one-third (31%) reported no leisure-time computer use.

I’m amused (in a sardonic sort of way) that the studies look at leisure time behaviour, happily ignoring the 8+ hours of typically sedentary activity required by the economy if we’re to be in a position to purchase computers and TVs.

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