The Relationship Between Physical Activity and Mobile Phone Addiction Among Adolescents and Young Adults: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies

Wen Xiao, Jinlong Wu, Joanne Yip, Qiuqiong Shi, Li Peng, Qiwen Emma Lei, Zhanbing Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Previous studies have reported a potential negative correlation between physical activity (PA) and mobile phone addiction (MPA) among adolescents and young adults. To date, the strength of this correlation has not been well characterized. Objective: This review and meta-analysis aimed to synthesize available empirical studies to examine the correlations between PA and MPA among adolescents and young adults. We also explored several potential moderators, including time of data collection, country or region, and type of population, associated with the relationship between PA and MPA. Methods: Four electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO, and Web of Science) were searched from database inception to March 2022 to identify relevant studies. The pooled Pearson correlation coefficients and their corresponding 95% CIs for the relationship between PA and MPA were calculated using the inverse variance method. The methodological quality of the included cross-sectional studies was determined based on the Joanna Briggs Institute appraisal checklist. The study conformed to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analyses) guidelines. Results: In total, 892 relevant articles were identified, of which 22 were selected based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The final meta-analysis included 17 of the 22 studies. Results of random effects modeling revealed a moderate correlation between PA and MPA among adolescents and young adults (summary r=–0.243, P<.001). Sensitivity and publication bias analyses further demonstrated the robustness of our results. All the included studies were scored as high quality with a low risk of bias. Subgroup analysis further indicated that none of the hypothesized moderators (time of data collection, country or region, and type of population) significantly affected the relationship between PA and MPA, as confirmed by the mixed effects analysis. In addition, in the data collection subgroups, medium effect sizes were obtained for data collected before COVID-19 (r=–0.333, P<.001) and data collected during COVID-19 (r=–0.207, P<.001). In subgroup analyses for country or region, the correlation coefficient for China and other developing regions showed a similarly moderate effect size (r=–0.201, P<.001 and r= –0.217, P<.001, respectively). However, the effect sizes for developed regions were not significant (r=–0.446, P=.39). In a subgroup analysis based on the type of population, we found that the effect size for young adults was moderate (r=–0.250, P<.001). However, that of adolescents was not significant (r=–0.129, P=.24). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a moderately negative relationship between PA and MPA among young adults. The strength of this relationship was not influenced by the time of data collection, country or region, or type of population.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere41606
JournalJMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • adolescents
  • association
  • correlation
  • mobile phone addiction
  • phone addiction
  • phone use
  • physical activity
  • systematic review
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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