Reconceptualizing the Link between Screen Time When Gaming with Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior

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With public health concerns surrounding rates of sedentary behaviour, there is often speculation on the role of screen time (in which “computer gaming” is commonly encompassed) as a key contributor to this epidemic. We argue that these assertions are based upon a number of problematic assumptions. Particularly, the notion that screen-time necessitates inactivity or sedentary behaviour, can be refuted based on the empirical literature. Additionally, digital gaming as one so-called problematic screen-time behaviour consists a failed assumption that all games proffer equivalent physical affordances. We argue that these assumptions should be revisited, in which a reconceptualisation of screen-time activities (with specific reference to gaming) and its link with inactivity and/or sedentary behaviour should be a key agenda. Within this, we introduce a conceptual model of how this may be realised, with the intention that this may offer a practical guide for researchers, and indeed health professionals in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-773
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking
Issue number12
Early online date1 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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