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Research Suggests Replacing Screen Time with Other Activities to Improve Mood

Sep, 2020

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The researchers suggest indulging in housework or switching off the TV and going to bed to bring about improvement in the mood and BMI.

The recent study adds to previous findings that physical inactivity is harmful for the overall health compared to having an active lifestyle. Previous research has shown that around 75% of the U.S. population has a sedentary lifestyle, and during the lockdown around 30% of active adults have observed a drop in their physical activity. The team of researchers from the Ohio State University (OSU) analysed data of over 400 adults in the age group of 31 to 35 years from the 2010–2015 Energy Balance Study carried out at the University of South Carolina. Each participant had BMI values in the range of 20 to 35. The team was able to accurately track the activity levels of each participant with the help of data from the SenseWear armband worn by the participants. The wearable device helped in avoiding inaccuracies resulting from self-reporting.

The team assessed each participant for a period of ten continuous days, excluding the time spent in water-based activities such as swimming or showering. Moreover, the participants also recorded the times when the armbands were not used, as well as the activities carried out during those times. The study was followed by a follow-up program after a gap of one year to reveal the benefits of replacing sedentary time with mild exercising. The participants self-reported their moods, and their perception of stress was measured by the 10 item Perceived Stress Scale. Furthermore, height and weight measurements were also taken to determine the participants’ BMI.

The results have helped the researchers conclude that simply turning off the telly and going to bed or doing light chores in the house can help in terms of improved mood, reduction in BMI.

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