The Physical and Behavioural Consequences of Facebook Use among University Students

Kwaku Oppong Asante, Jacob Nyarko


Facebook is considered as one of the popular social network among young adults including university students globally. However, little studies have examined the adverse health behaviours associated with extensive Facebook use. Using a randomly selected 648 students from two universities in Ghana and a self-administered questionnaire, this study examined relationships between adverse health effects and unhealthy behaviours among university students using Facebook. Age of students ranged from 18–34, with an average age of 23.27(SD = 3.21). Over 57.5% of the participants spend over one hour on Facebook daily. Students who spend more than an hour on Facebook daily were less likely to answer telephone calls (OR = 5.24; 95%CI = 2.49–11.03), postponing of meals (OR = 0.32; 95%CI = 0.20–0.50), feel isolated from family (OR = 0.42; 95%CI = 0.28–0.61), society (OR = 0.16; 95%CI = 0.08–0.34) but more likely to hold urine (OR = 2.67; 95%CI = 1.82–3.90), faeces (OR = 1.69; 95%CI = 1.14–2.51) and skip breakfast (OR= 1.53; 95%CI = 1.02–2.28). Excessive daily Facebook use was also associated with wrist pains (OR= 1.66; 95%CI = 1.08–2.54). These findings showed that excessive Facebook use had both physical and musculoskeletal health effects on students. Health promotion and interventions are necessary in institutions of higher educations to guide young people towards a healthy use of social media like Facebook. Such interventions should focus on self-control of Facebook use, and periodic screening for musculoskeletal disorders.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n27p774

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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