Effects of limiting digital screen use on well-being, mood, and biomarkers of stress in adults

Jesper Pedersen, Martin Gillies Banke Rasmussen, Sarah Overgaard Sørensen, Sofie Rath Mortensen, Line Grønholt Olesen, Søren Brage, Peter Lund Kristensen, Eli Puterman, Anders Grøntved*


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Studies have linked higher digital screen use with poorer mental health. However, there is limited experimental evidence to suggest a causal relationship. In this trial, we aimed to investigate the effects of limiting recreational digital screen use on mental well-being, mood, and biomarkers of stress in healthy young and middle-aged adults. We randomly allocated 89 families (including 164 adults) to participate in an extensive screen media reduction intervention or control. Participants in the intervention group were instructed to decrease their recreational screen use to less than 3 hours/week/person. Intervention compliance was assessed using applications and tv-monitors. Overall subjective mental well-being and mood, and collected daily biomarkers of stress (salivary
cortisol and cortisone) was assessed at baseline and 2-week follow-up. Reducing recreational digital screen use resulted in significantly improved self-reported well-being and mood in adults allocated to the intervention compared to control. We observed no intervention effects for biomarkers of stress. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04098913, 23/09/2019).
Tidsskriftnpj Mental Health Research
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 12. okt. 2022


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