Screen Time, Health Implications and University Students Awareness in Nigeria

International Journal of Communication and Media Science
© 2016 by SSRG - IJCMS Journal
Volume 3 Issue 2
Year of Publication : 2016
Authors : Allen Nnanwuba Adum, Uchenna Patricia Ekwugha, Ojinime Ebelechukwu Ojiakor and Uche Victor Ebeze
How to Cite?

Allen Nnanwuba Adum, Uchenna Patricia Ekwugha, Ojinime Ebelechukwu Ojiakor and Uche Victor Ebeze, "Screen Time, Health Implications and University Students Awareness in Nigeria," SSRG International Journal of Communication and Media Science, vol. 3,  no. 2, pp. 1-14, 2016. Crossref,


Our study examined Undergraduate students’ awareness of the health implications associated with the use of screen devices. We sought to determine the extent to which university students in Southeast Nigeria expose themselves to electronic screen–based devices; the possible factors influencing the students’ level of exposure to the devices; ascertain the possible health implications associated with the students’ exposure to the devices; establish the undergraduate students’ level of awareness of health implications associated with exposure to screen-based devices; and assess the students’ views on ways the health implications could be curtailed. A mixed research approach was adopted for the study. Findings generally indicate that university students in Southeast Nigeria spend amazing amount of time on ‘screen-based devices’ (computers, phones, video games, television), which have become an essential part of their life. Also, these students have a high level of awareness of the possible health implications associated with the use of screen-based devices, as most of them claim to have experienced one form of health challenge or another in the course of using the devices. Therefore the study recommended that relevant government agencies and Non Governmental Organizations as well as the media should educate people in order to create awareness on certain precautionary measures users of screen-based devices need to take to reduce the health risks they may likely face in the cause of utilizing screen-based devices.


Screen time, screen-based devices, health implications, multi-tasking.


[1] Rotsztein, B. M. “Problem of Internet Use and Locus of Control Among College Students: Preliminary Findings.” A paper presentation at the 35thAnnual Conference of the New England Educational Research Organisation, Portsmouth, New Hampshire: England, 2003.
[2] American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic And statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author, 1994.
[3] Soola, O. Modern Business Communication. Ibadan, Kraft Books Limited, 1998.
[4] Cairncross, F., The Death of Distance: How Communication Revolution is Changing our Lives. Harvard Business School Press: London, 2000.
[5] Servon, L., Bridging the Digital Divide: Technology Community, and Public Policy. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2002.
[6] Gerr, F., Marcus, M., Ensor, C., Kleinbaum, D., Cohen, S., Edwards, A.,Monteilh, C. “A Prospective Study of Computer users: I. Study Design and Incidence of Musculoskeletal Symptoms and Disorders” American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 41(4), 221–235, 2002.
[7] Pew Research Center‟s Project for Excellence in Journalism, “The Fort Hood Tragedy Highlights the Reporting Role of Social Media.” (The Pew Research Center. 2-6 Nov), Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from reporting-role-social-media/
[8] Adaja, T., & Ayodele, F., Nigerian Youths and Social Media: Harnessing the Potentials for Academic Excellence. Singaporean Journal of business Economics and management Studies, 1(6), 57-66, 2013.
[9] Clark, D. J, Faith, K. H., & Demi, A. S. “The Physical, Behavioral, and Psychosocial Consequences of Internet Use in College Students.” Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 22(3), 153–161. doi: 10.1097/00024665-200405000-00010, 2004.
[10] Bargh, J. A., & McKenna, K.Y.A. “The Internet and Social Life.” Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 573- 590. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141922, 2004.
[11] Hampton, K., & Wellman, B. , “Long Distance Community in the Network Society.” American Behavioral Scientist, 45(3), 476–495, 2001.
[12] Adum, A., “High Definition Television and the Nigerian Broadcast Industry: a Focus on the Challenges.” International Journal of Communication, 8, 239-251, 2008.
[13] Davis, R. A. , A Cognitive-behavioral Model of Pathological Internet Use (PIU). Retrieved from, 1999.
[14] LaRose, R., “ Use and Gratifications of Internet Addiction.” In K. S. Young & C. Nauco deAbreu (Eds.), Internet Addiction: A handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment. (pp 55-72). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2011.
[15] Greenfield, D. “The Addictive Properties of Internet Usage.” In K. S. Young & C. Nauco deAbreu (Eds.), Internet Addiction: A handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment. (pp 135-153). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2011.
[16] Kandell, J. J., “Internet Addiction on Campus: The Vulnerability of College Students”. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 1, 11-17, 1998.
[17] Granich, J., Rosenberg, M., Knuiman, M., & Timperio, A.,“Individual, Social, and Physical Environment Factors Associated with Electronic Media Use Among Children: Sedentary Behavior at Home.” Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 8, 613-625, 2011.
[18] Udende, P., & Azeez, A., “Internet Access and Use Among Students of University of Ilorin, Nigeria.” Journal of Communication and Media Research, Department of Mass Communication, Delta State University, Abraka, 2(1), 33-42, 2010.
[19] Gustafsson, E. Physical Exposure, Musculoskeletal Symptoms, and Attitudes Related to ICT Use (Doctoral thesis, University of Gothenburg, Sweden). Retrieved from 646_1.pdf 2009.
[20] Linn, S., Almon, J., Wolfsheimer, L., “Facing the Screen Dilemma: Young Children, Technology and Early Education.” Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood, Alliance for Childhood, and Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment. Retrieved from htt://, 2012.
[21] Wargo, J., Taylor, H., Alderman, N., Wargo, L., Bradley, M., & Addis, S., “The Cell Phone Problem: Cell Phones Technology, Exposures, and Health Effects. Retrieved from Environment and Human Health” Inc. website: Retrieved from _2.pdf, 2012.
[22] Acharya, P., Acharya, I., & Waghrey, D., “A Study on Some of the Common Health Effects of Cell-Phones amongst College Students.” Community Medical Health Education, 3(4), 1-4. dio: 10.172/2161-0711.1000214., 2013
[23] Anderson, K. J., “Internet Use Among College Students: An Exploratory Study.” Journal of American College Health, 50, 21-26, 2001.
[24] Scherer, K.., “College Life On-line: Healthy and Unhealthy Internet Use.” Journal of College Student Development, 38, 655-665, 1997.
[25] Lee, U., Lee, J., Ko, M., Lee, C., Kim, Y., Y, S., … Song, Y., “Hooked on Smartphones: An Exploratory Study on Smartphone Overuse among College Students.” dio: 10.1145/2556288.2557366, 2014.
[26] McQuail, D., McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory (5th ed.). London, SAGE Publications Ltd, 2005.
[27] Snyder, T. Computer. Microsoft Encarta 2009 [ DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation.
[28] Sklar, R., History of Motion Pictures. Microsoft Encarta 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation.
[29] Hayes, J. R., Sheedy, J. E., Stelmack, J. A., & Heaney, C. A., Computer Use, Symptoms, and Quality of Life. Optometry and Vision Science, 84(8) 738-744. Retrieved from, 2007.
[30] Turow, J., Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication (3rd ed.). New York, Routledge, 2010.
[31] Krekovic, S., “New Media Culture: Internet as a Tool of Cultural Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe.” IWM Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, 14(6), 2-11., 2003.
[32] Bergqvist, U., & Knave, B., “Eye Discomfort and Work With Visual Display Terminals.” Scand J Work Environ Health, 20, 27-33, 1994.
[33] Baran, S., Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Literacy and Culture (Updated 5th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2009.
[34] Martin, K.., “Electronic Overload: The Impact of Excessive Screen Use on Child and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing.” A Report Commissioned by the Department of Sport and Recreation, Government of Western Australia. Perth, Western Australia: Author, 2011.
[35] Oyero, O., “The Use and Believability of Social Networks News Among Nigerian Youths.” Journal of Communication, 1(1), 43-55, 2013.
[36] Rideout, V., Foehr, U., Roberts, D., & Brodie, M. (1999). Kids and Media at the New Millennium: Executive summary. Menlo Park, CA: Kaiser Family Foundation, 1999.
[37] Bortkiewicz, A., “A Study on the Biological Effects of Exposure to Mobile Phone Frequency EMF.” Med Pr, 52, 101–106, 2001.
[38] Stanger, J. D., & Gridina, N., Media in the home 1999: The Fourth Annual Survey of Parents and Children. Philadelphia, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania: Author, 1999.
[39] Rosenfield, M., “Computer vision syndrome: A review of ocular causes and potential treatments.” Ophthalmic Physiol Opt, 31,502-15, 2011.
[40] Lievrouw, L., Communication. Microsoft Encarta 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation.
[41] Subrahmanyam Kaveri, Kraut Robert E., Greenfield Patricia M., & Gross Elisheva F., “The Impact of Home Computer Use on Children‟s Activities and Development.” The Future of Children and Computer Technology 10(2), 123- 144. Retrieved from 10_02_05.pdf , 2000.
[42] Lager & Bremberg, “Health Effects of Video and Computer Game Playing: a Systematic Review.” Retrieved from the Swedish National Institute of Public Health website: 233903988_Health_effects_of_video_and_computer_game_p laying_A_systematic_review/links/02bfe50cb22f22f3eb00000 0.pdf, 2005.