In a study published in Addiction Biology, the researchers found significant associations between electronic device use and signs of depression and anxiety, as well as smoking and alcohol use. The team also found certain genetic variants that were related to these traits..

The study included data on thousands of people from the UK Biobank. Three indicators of electronic device use were included in the study: watching television, using the computer, and playing on the computer.


Methodology

To carry out the study, first of all, an observational study was carried out that consisted of from 138 976 to 383 742 participants to watch television, 29,636 to 38,599 participants to use the computer and 118 61 to 330,985 participants to play with the computer in the UK Biobank cohort.

A linear regression model was used to assess the associations between common mental traits and the use of electronic devices.

Subsequently, PLINK2.0 conducted a genome-wide gene-environment interaction study (GWEIS) to estimate the interaction effects of the use of genes and electronic devices on the risks of the four mental traits.

According to the authors, the study findings suggest that reducing time spent using electronic devices can help reduce mental health burdens.