Impact of increasing social media use on sitting time and body mass index

Stephanie Alley*, Pauline Wellens, Stephanie Schoeppe, Hein de Vries, Amanda L. Rebar, Camille E. Short, Mitch J. Duncan, Corneel Vandelanotte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Issue addressed: Sedentary behaviours, in particular sitting, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and poorer mental health status. In Australia, 70% of adults sit for more than 8 h per day. The use of social media applications (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) is ors the rise; however, no studies have explored the association of social media use with sitting time and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: Cross-sectional self-report data ors demographics, BMI and sitting time were collected from 1140 participants in the 2013 Queensland Social Survey. Generalised linear models were used to estimate associations of a social media score calculated from social media use, perceived importance of social media, and number of social media contacts with sitting time and BMI.

Results: Participants with a high social media score had significantly greater sitting times while using a computer in leisure time and significantly greater total sitting time on non-workdays. However, no associations were found between social media score and sitting to view TV, use motorised transport, work or participate in other leisure activities; or total workday, total sitting time or BMI.

Conclusions: These results indicate that social media use is associated with increased sitting time while using a computer, and total sitting time on non-workdays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • computer
  • screen time
  • sedentary behaviour
  • social networking

Cite this