New study reveals the United Arab Emirates is home to the most tech-addicted kids

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Parents have been complaining about their children spending too much time in front of screens since the invention of television, and since the rise of technology, fewer youngsters are spending time outside, favouring their tech devices in their bedrooms.

With excessive screen time leaving us exposed to a number of health issues such as obesity, sleep problems, chronic neck and back problems, depression, anxiety as well as many other health conditions, we want to find out the true impact technology has on our children.

Lenstore has conducted a study to determine the most tech-addicted children and the impact it is having on the next generation. By analysing metrics such as child obesity, daily time spent on the internet and the level of physical activity for children, the study uncovers where in the world the most tech-addicted kids live.

The study also looks at how the level of physical activity among British children has changed over the years, as well as how often they are going outside to play.

The United Arab Emirates ranks in first place with the most tech-addicted kids

Based on our analysis, the countries with the most tech-addicted children are:

Rank

Country

2025 Child Obesity Prevalence Prediction

Daily Time on the Internet (Hrs)

Sedentary

Behaviours Score *

Overall Child Physical Activity Score*

1

United Arab Emirates

18%

7:24

9

17

2

United States of America

27%

7:11

11

12

3

Brazil

12%

10:08

12

11

4

New Zealand

19%

6:39

11

12

5

China

9%

5:22

17

17

6

Australia

15%

6:13

12

12

7

Mexico

17%

9:00

12

10

8

Belgium

8%

5:28

8

17

9

Thailand

11%

8:44

12

12

10

Germany

10%

5:26

12

12

*Each country was awarded a score from 1 to 18. The higher the number, the worse sedentary behaviour or physical activity was deemed to be.

It turns out children in the UAE are most addicted to their phones. Due to a poor physical activity score of 17 (this score shows a low % of UAE children meeting the guideline of 60 minutes of physical activity every day) and reaching a high daily internet time of over 7 hours, the Western Asia country takes the crown as being home to the most tech-addicted children.

In second place is the United States. With a sedentary behaviour mark of 11, less than half of U.S. children adhere to the recommended 2 hours or less of screen time per day. Brazil rounds off the top three countries. With an overall physical score of 11 and a sedentary behaviour mark of 12, less than half of Brazilian children are following the recommended exercise or screen time guidelines.

At the other end of the scale is India. Here is where you will find the children less addicted to their tech devices. The rate of child obesity is falling in this nation, thus it has been estimated to have a child obesity rate of 2% by 2025. The South Asia country has received a score of 9 for sedentary behaviours, which indicates nearly half of Indian youths are meeting the screen time advice.

Take a look at the table below to see which other countries made the list as the locations with the lowest rates of tech-addicted children:

Rank

Country

2025 Child Obesity Prevalence Prediction

Daily Time on the Internet (Hrs)

Sedentary

Behaviours Score *

Overall Child Physical Activity Score*

1

India

2%

6:36

9

11

2

Netherlands

8%

5:28

9

8

3

Spain

12%

6:11

4

11

4

Sweden

7%

6:15

7

10

5

Colombia

7%

10:07

10

10

*Each country was awarded a score from 1 to 18. The higher the number, the worse sedentary behaviour or physical activity was deemed to be.

Roshni Patel, BSc (Hons) MCOptom, professional services manager at Lenstore comments: “Prolonged screen time will not only have an effect on children’s physical activity levels but could also have long-lasting effects on their eyesight. With phones and computers becoming a part of learning and leisure time for children — the amount of time they have logged staring at a screen has increased. Unfortunately, this extended use of digital screens without breaks can cause eye strain and soreness. There are concerns that this may increase the risk of them developing short-sightedness or cause further progression for those who already suffer with it.

Children should be taking regular breaks from screens and also spending time outdoors. However, when they’re having screen time, the correct adjustment should be made to avoid any eye problems.”

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