Effect of COVID-19 Lockdown on Lifestyle, Internet Addiction and Media Usage among Adolescents and Young Adults in India - A Cross-sectional Survey

  • Samir R Shah National Coordinator & Consultant Pediatrician, Samir Hospital, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
  • Swati Y Bhave Executive Director, AACCI, Pune, India.
  • Kalpita Shringarpure MD PSM, CIH, Assistant Professor, Department of PSM, Medical College Baroda, Gujarat, India.
  • Yashwant Bhave MSc Electronics, MPA Harvard, USA, Chairperson AACCI, Pune, India.
Keywords: COVID Impact, Adolescent, Youth, Screen, Gadgets, Addiction


Introduction: In India, there were three major COVID-19 wave lockdowns hampering school and college education.

Aim: To understand the effect of lockdown on lifestyle, internet addiction and media usage in adolescents aged 10 to 21 years.

Methods: An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted from August 2020 to January 2021 using purposive sampling methodology. The respondents were approached through various social-media handles to fill out the Association of Adolescent and Child Care in India (AACCI)-created Google-based questionnaire consisting of 50 questions divided into five sections (aims/ objectives and consent form, demographic information, effect on lifestyle, effect on media/ gadget usage and internet addiction score). Data analysis was done using EpiInfo Version software.

Results: Of the 318 respondents, 63.8% were females. The median (IQR) age was 18 (14-19) years. Of the participants, 72.6% were school-going, 27.4% were college students, 82% were from urban areas, 59% were from nuclear families, and 59.9% had one sibling. There were positive and negative effects on physical health, food habits, sleeping patterns, and mental health of the respondents (p < 0.05). Overall, 60.6% of respondents used electronic gadgets for more than four hours every day, 80% felt that the internet is a must, 69.2% accepted screen overuse, and 28.9% felt that they were addicted to the internet. The median (IQR) score for the age group of 10-13 years was 25 (9-31); for the age group of 14-17 years, it was 26 (17-40) and for the age group of 18-21 years, it was 29 (19-39) (Kruskal Wallis: 6.37, p = 0.042).

Conclusion: The COVID lockdown affected the physical and mental health of Indian adolescents positively and negatively.

How to cite this article:
Shah SR, Bhave SY, Shringarpure K, Bhave Y. Effect of COVID-19 Lockdown on Lifestyle, Internet Addiction and Media Usage among Adolescents and Young Adults in India - A Cross-sectional Survey. Ind J Youth Adol Health. 2023;10(3):4-12.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24321/2349.2880.202309


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. History of 1918 flu pandemic; [cited 2022 Dec 2].

Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemicresources/1918-commemoration/1918-pandemichistory.


Ghosh A, Nundy S, Mallick TK. How India is dealing with COVID-19 pandemic. Sens Int. 2020;1:100021.

[PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Teodorovicz T, Sadun R, Kun AL, Shaer O. Working from home during COVID-19: evidence from timeuse

studies. Working Paper 21-094. Harvard Business School; 2021.

World Health Organization [Internet]. Coming of age: adolescent health; [cited 2022 Dec 2]. Available from:


Statista [Internet]. India - age distribution 2021; [cited 2022 Dec 2]. Available from: https://www.statista.com/


Singh S, Roy D, Sinha K, Parveen S, Sharma G, Joshi G. Impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on mental health

of children and adolescents: a narrative review with recommendations. Psychiatry Res. 2020;293:113429.

[PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Lee J. Mental health effects of school closures during COVID-19. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2020;4(6):421.

[PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Zhai Y, Du X. Loss and grief amidst COVID-19: a path to adaptation and resilience. Brain Behav Immun.

;87:80-1. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

United Nations Children’s Fund [Internet]. UNICEF Annual Report 2020; [cited 2022 Dec 2]. Available

from: https://www.unicef.org/reports/unicef-annualreport-2020

Chaturvedi K, Vishwakarma DK, Singh N. COVID-19 and its impact on education, social life and mental

health of students: a survey. Child Youth Serv Rev. 2021;121:105866. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Cauberghe V, Wesenbeeck IV, De Jans S, Hudders L, Ponnet K. How adolescents use social media to

cope with feelings of loneliness and anxiety during COVID-19 lockdown. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw.

;24(4):250-7. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Epi citation info [Internet]; [cited 2022 Dec 2]. Available from: https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/Epi/

citation.html13. Kimberly addiction scale [Internet]; [cited 2022 Dec 4]. Available from: https://www.evergreencpg.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/26-Internet-Addiction-Test2-1.pdf

Kapasia N, Paul P, Roy A, Saha J, Zaveri A, Mallick R, Barman B, Das P, Chouhan P. Impact of lockdown on

learning status of undergraduate and postgraduate students during COVID-19 pandemic in West Bengal,

India. Child Youth Serv Rev. 2020;116:105194. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Berryman C, Ferguson CJ, Negy C. Social media use and mental health among young adults. Psychiatr Q.

;89(2):307-14. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Fernandes B, Biswas UN, Tan-Mansukhani R, Vallejo A, Essau CA. The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on internet use and escapism in adolescents. Rev Psicol Clínica con Niños y Adolesc. 2020;7(3):59-65. [Google Scholar]

Sunilkumar SR [Internet]. India has 5th lowest mobilebdata prices in the world. Check Pak, Sri Lanka rates.

Hindustan Times; [cited 2022 Dec 2]. Available from: https://www.hindustantimes.com/technology/indiahas-


Vall-Roqué H, Andrés A, Saldaña C. The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on social network sites use, body

image disturbances and self-esteem among adolescentand young women. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol

Psychiatry. 2021;110:110293. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Abi-Jaoude E, Naylor KT, Pignatiello A. Smartphones, social media use and youth mental health. CMAJ.

;192(6):E136-41. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]