The relationship between TV/computer time and adolescents’ health-promoting behavior: A secondary data analysis

Mei Yen Chen*, Yiing Mei Liou, Jen Yee Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Television and computers provide significant benefits for learning about the world. Some studies have linked excessive television (TV) watching or computer game playing to disadvantage of health status or some unhealthy behavior among adolescents. However, the relationships between watching TV/playing computer games and adolescents adopting health promoting behavior were limited. This study aimed to discover the relationship between time spent on watching TV and on leisure use of computers and adolescents’ health promoting behavior, and associated factors. This paper used secondary data analysis from part of a health promotion project in Taoyuan County, Taiwan. A cross-sectional design was used and purposive sampling was conducted among adolescents in the original project. Atotal of 660 participants answered the questions appropriately for this work between January and June 2004. Findings showed the mean age of the respondents was 15.0 ± 1.7 years. The mean numbers of TV watching hours were 2.28 and 4.07 on weekdays and weekends respectively. The mean hours of leisure (non-academic) computer use were 1.64 and 3.38 on weekdays and weekends respectively. Results indicated that adolescents spent significant time watching TV and using the computer, which was negatively associated with adopting health-promoting behaviors such as life appreciation, health responsibility, social support and exercise behavior. Moreover, being boys, being overweight, living in a rural area, and being middle-school students were significantly associated with spending long periods watching TV and using the computer. Therefore, primary health care providers should record the TV and non-academic computer time of youths when conducting health promotion programs, and educate parents on how to become good and healthy electronic media users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalThe journal of nursing research : JNR
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Adolescent
  • Health promotion
  • Playing computer games
  • Watching TV


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