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Less screen time associated with better mental health in girls!

By Sharonya Kundu


A new study from UBC researchers found that teenagers, especially girls, have a better psychological state once they spend longer doing extracurricular activities, like sports and art, and spent less time in front of screens.

According to a study, spending less than two hours per day of recreational screen time such as browsing the internet, playing video games, and using social media was linked with higher levels of life satisfaction and optimism, and lower levels of hysteria and depressive symptoms, especially among girls. Similarly, extracurricular participation was related to better psychological state outcomes.


Although a study was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings are especially relevant now when teens could also be spending longer ahead of screens in their free time if access to extracurricular activities, like sports is restricted due to COVID-19. Extracurricular activities as an asset to teenagers' mental wellbeing.

Finding safe ways for youngsters and teenagers to still participate in these activities during current times could also be how to scale back screen time and promote psychological state and wellbeing. Taking part in extracurricular activities was related to higher levels of life satisfaction and optimism, and lower levels of hysteria and depressive symptoms.


Longer screen time of quite two hours each day was related to lower levels of life satisfaction and optimism, and better levels of hysteria and depressive symptoms. Differences among boys and girls, with longer screen time negatively affecting girls' psychological state more significantly than boys. Among both boys and girls, however, the psychological state was strongest when teens both participated in extracurricular activities and spent but two hours on screen time.

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