Screen stacking among teenage girls

Concurrent screen use and association with lifestyle behaviours and psychosocial health in adolescent females.

Over half the teenage girls used more than one screen at the same time. Overall screen time was linked to lower physical activity, higher BMI and less sleep. 

Teenage girls wore an activity monitor for seven days to measure physical activity sleep and sedentary time and reported their screen use. Body mass index (BMI) was measured. Relationships were explored using mixed models accounting for school clustering and confounders.

This study adds to the evidence which shows that excessive screen use during certain times of the day can affect young people's lifestyle behaviours and thus should inform guidelines for screen use in this population.

What next? 

Future research is needed in how to best support teenage girls to moderate their screen use, especially at weekend. 

Citation details

Harrington DM, Ioannidou E, Davies MJ, Edwardson CL, Gorely T, Rowlands AV, Sherar LB, Staiano AE. Concurrent screen use and cross-sectional association with lifestyle behaviours and psychosocial health in adolescent females. Acta Paediatr. 2021. DOI: 10.1111/apa.15806.


The authors thank the school staff, participants and intervention delivery staff (Youth Sport Trust) involved in the RCT. We also thank Professors Kamlesh Khunti and Thomas Yates for the contribution to this manuscript.

The cluster RCT of the Girls Active intervention was funded by the National Institute for Public Health Research programme (project number PHR13/90/30). The Leicester-based authors are supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research and Care (ARC) East Midlands.

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Lauren Sherar

Professor Lauren Sherar

Professor of Physical Activity and Public Health