Smartphone usage leads to sedentary lifestyle

iPhone 3GS on couch

Photo by Science Daily reports on recent research results:

Barkley and Lepp were interested in the relationship between smartphones and fitness levels because, unlike the television, phones are small and portable, therefore making it possible to use them while doing physical activity. But what the researchers found was that despite the phone’s mobility, high use contributed to a sedentary lifestyle for some subjects.

More than 300 college students from the Midwest were surveyed on their cell phone usage and activity level. Of those students, 49 had their fitness level and body composition tested. The researchers’ results showed that students who spent large amounts of time on their cell phones — as much as 14 hours per day — were less fit than those who averaged a little more than 90 minutes of cell phone use daily.

I often wonder why causal-comparative research like this gets so much attention. Examining the behavioural quirks of someone who spends 14hrs a day using their iPhone seems far more interesting. It would seem obvious that if you used your mobile phone for 14 hrs a day your living a sedentary lifestyle.