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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kent State Study: High Cell Phone Use Linked To Poor Health

Posted By on Sun, Jul 14, 2013 at 2:17 PM

People who can't peel their eyes and thumbs from the allure of their cell phones are probably less healthy than others, according to a study done at Kent State University. The study revolved around college students for the most part, though, so there were notable variables in data reporting bong-loads per day and late-night drunk excursions for burritos per week.

Andrew Lepp and Jacob Barkley, associate professors at Kent State's College of Education, Health and Human Services, determined that students clocking in at 14 hours a day on the ol' cellie were less fit overall than students who used the devices a bit more judiciously. (Low-level use was still categorized as 101 minutes daily).

There were 300 students involved in the study, which counted among "cell phone use" all manner of activities: making calls (a relative rarity among today's youth), texting (a national sport), handling emails, playing games, begging for more Candy Crush lives, hitting the Internet, reading Scene, watching videos (cats and porn, mostly) and using social media.

Barley elaborates, saying that students who devote time to those sorts of cherished pastimes miss out on things like, you know, walking, running, playing sports, experiencing reality and maintaining a healthy sense of self-awareness in life.

The Akron Beacon Journal spoke with one somewhat representative college student, who is on track to spend half his life on his smartphone.

Brent Gray Jr. 19, of Cincinnati, admits he would likely be a “phone junkie” if he didn’t train as a member of the University of Akron’s track team.

The first thing he does when he wakes up is check his phone for texts and updates from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine and Snapchat, all popular social media apps. He estimates he spends at least 12 hours each day using his iPhone.

“Without my phone, I don’t think I’d know what to do with myself,” he said. “Without my phone, I’d be disconnected from the world.”

Though he stays physically active through track, Gray said he understands how people’s lives could become consumed with their smartphones.

“Two hours could go by and you don’t even know it,” he said.

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