Screen stacking, looking at multiple screens simultaneously, and its impact on diabetes and sleep disorders

This English study shows that some young people can watch up to four screens simultaneously. And this is not without consequences.

Can we manage to look at four screens at the same time? This is shown by this study published in the medical journal Acta Paediatrica. English researchers at the University of Leicester have studied the behavior of more than 800 young girls between the ages of 11 and 14 vis-à-vis screens. Watching a movie on TV or the computer, at the same time as scrolling on social networks, we all do it from a very young age: this is what English speakers call the ” screen stacking (Literally, “stacking screens”).

The new generations are becoming multitasking and it is two thirds of these young people who alternate up to four screens at the same time. While many studies have explored this tendency to focus on different screens simultaneously (telephone, television, computer, etc.), this study focuses on its effects on the mental and physical health of youth.

To measure this, participants answered a series of questions about the number of screens they use at the same time at different times of the week: “Right after school, in the evening during his free time, at night and on weekends”. Scientists then propose nine check boxes corresponding to nine possible types of screens (phone, tablet, laptop, console, e-reader, etc.). In addition to this questionnaire, the young girls had to wear a wrist device for seven days to assess their physical activity, sedentary lifestyle and sleep patterns. The researchers also looked at the psychosocial factors children (self-confidence, personal value, relationship to their body, etc.).

An impact on health

The results show that 59% of participants use two or more screens after school, 65% in the evening, 36% in bed and 68% on weekends. While research was carried out before the health crisis, scientists were already worried about this high risk to the health of these young followers of “screen stacking”. If looking at one screen at a time for too long is already not recommended, imagine for four. Researchers report that these are over 90% of young girls studied who have sleep problems. They also do very little physical activity and have a high BMI (body mass index).

In one university press release, Melanie Davies, professor studying diabetes disease and co-director of the Leicester Diabetes Center, says the study is a reminder that future generations may become increasingly sedentary. This would have a strong impact on health: “this growing sedentary lifestyle is strongly linked to type 2 diabetes, which affects increasingly young children”.

This sedentary behavior therefore increases the risk of diabetes, which has increased by 50% in just five years in Great Britain, but also of obesity.. So, if you are reading this article on your phone while watching your Netflix series on the computer, stop one of them, it can’t hurt you.

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