Digital space and its influence on the lifestyle and health of students: A literature review

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This article presents an analytical review of international publications, for the period from 2012 to 2020, that focused on the influence of the digital space as a new social factor that changes the lifestyle of the younger generation and creates new health risks. The literature search was conducted in PubMed using the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science. Digital technologies provide positive opportunities of online education of students and schoolchildren, including greater availability of educational and preventive programs. The main health risks associated with the intensive use of digital technologies in education and leisure include manifestations of visual overstrain (computer visual syndrome), disorders of the musculoskeletal system (pain in the neck, back, and hands), and negative lifestyle changes. Adolescents are more susceptible than adults to such negative consequences of intensive use of digital space, which leads to the development of Internet addiction, sleep disorders, eating disorders, psychosocial manifestations, poor academic performance, depressive symptoms, and aggressive behavior. Aggressive behaviors of some young people in the Internet space include harassment (cyber-bullying) and sending sexual messages (sexting) accompanied by cyber-attacks. Against the background of the growing use of digital tools, including the availability of smartphones, parents, teaching, and medical staff of universities and schools should provide early prevention interventions of the above-mentioned negative phenomena. Preventive online programs can be used by college students during the period of adaptation to new learning conditions to reduce alcohol consumption, smoking, and formation of stereotypes of proper nutrition.

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About the authors

Evgeniya I. Shubochkina

Medical Research Center of Children’s Health

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3557-3867

MD, As. Prof.

Russian Federation, 2 Lomonosovskiy pr., Moscow, 119296


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