Study: American youth spend 7.5 hours per day using electronics

American kids now spend more than seven and a half hours per day using a smartphone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study.

American kids now spend more than seven and a half hours per day using a smartphone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study.

Youth aged between 8 and 18 years old spent an average of 53 hours per week using electronics, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

What's more, because some of that time includes multitasking with several electronics at the same time, kids actually manage to cram an astounding 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media into the 7 hours, 38 minutes actually spent per day.

[Read the entire report (.pdf)]

Five years ago, kids spent less than six and a half hours per day using electronics, according to the previous iteration of the study.

In that study, the authors concluded that use could not possibly grow further.

Looks like they were wrong.

The study also drew some interesting conclusions about the behavioral effects of media consumption.

For example, the heaviest media users reported spending a similar amount of time exercising as the light media users.

Additionally, the heaviest media users had a greater association with behavioral problems and lower grades. Almost half, or 47 percent, of those who consumed 16 hours of media per day had grades of mostly Cs or lower.

In contrast, just 23 percent of kids who consumed media three hours or less had such grades.

The heaviest media users were also more likely to report boredom, sadness or trouble at school.

(The study's authors conceded that they were not able to discern whether it was media consumption that led to bad habits, or bad habits that drive excessive media consumption.)

More interesting points from the study:

  • On average, young people spend about two hours a day consuming media on a mobile device.
  • On average, young people spend an hour a day on television or music content viewed through new pathways such as online.
  • For this age group, phones are used more for consuming media than actual conversations.
  • More than seven in 10 youths have a TV in their bedroom.
  • About one-third have a computer with Internet access in their bedroom.
  • The heaviest media users are black and Hispanic youths and “tweens,” or those ages 11 to 14.

The report is based on a survey of more than 2,000 students in grades 3 to 12 that was conducted from October 2008 to May 2009.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com