Internet use and its impact on engagement in leisure activities in china

Ronggang Zhou, Sik Wah Fong, Peking Tan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: Internet use has become an increasingly common leisure time activity among Chinese citizens. The association between Internet use and engagement in leisure activities is especially unclear among China population. This study aims to investigate Internet usage and to determine whether active Internet use is a marker for low or high levels of leisure time activities. Methods/Principal Findings: With the use of a face-to-face structured questionnaire interview, a total of 2,400 respondents who met all screening requirements were surveyed to answer the questions in eight major cities in China. 66.2% (n = 1,589) of all respondents were identified as Internet users. Of these Internet users, 30.0%, 24.1%, 26.4%, and 19.6% were clustered as "informative or instrumental users," "entertainment users," "communication users," and "advanced users," respectively. Regarding time spent on Internet use in leisure time, more than 96% reported going online in non-work situations, and 26.2% (n = 416) were classified as "heavy Internet users." A logistic regression analysis revealed that there were significant differences in some leisure activities between non-Internet users and Internet users, with an observed one-unit increase in the leisure time dependence category increasing the probability of engaging in mental or social activities. In contrast, Internet users were less engaged in physical exercise-related activities. In addition, advanced Internet users were generally more active in leisure time activities than non-Internet users and other types of users. Conclusion/Significance: Internet use is one of very common leisure activities in Chinese citizens, and age, gender, income, and education are the key factors affecting Internet access. According to different types of leisure activities, Internet usage has different impacts on leisure activity engagement. High Internet dependence has no significant negative influence on engagement in mental or social leisure activities, but this group respondent tended to be less engaged in physical activities.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere89598
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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