A Preliminary Assessment of The Relationship Between Cellphone Use and Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, Anxiety, and Academic Performance in High School Students. Direct Original Research

Main Article Content

Ryan Wiet https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3425-1858
Andrew Lepp
Jacob Barkley


GPA, smartphone, mental health


Introduction: Prior research has examined the relationships between cellphone use and physical activity and sedentary behavior as well as measures of psychological well-being and academic performance. This work largely focuses on adults. However, there is an inverse relationship between cellphone use and age. Because their cellphone use may be different from adults, understanding these relationships in younger individuals is warranted.  

Methods: High school students (N = 17) completed an online survey consisting of validated items assessing self-reported cellphone use, physical activity, sedentary behavior, anxiety, and grade point average. Correlation analyses were then performed assessing the relationships between cell phone use to all other variables.

Results: There were large, significant effect sizes (r ≥ -0.58, p ≤ 0.04) for negative correlations between cellphone use and vigorous and total physical activity. There was also a moderate effect size (r = -0.39; r = 0.46) for a negative relationship between cellphone use and mild physical activity and a positive correlation between cellphone use and anxiety, respectively. Cellphone use was not related to the remaining variables.  

Conclusions: In this preliminary study of high school students, greater cellphone use was associated with greater anxiety, which supports prior research in adults. However, unlike research reporting a lack of a relationship in adults, greater cellphone use was associated with lower physical activity in high schoolers.

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