Health issues with learning to use smart devices in the digital age: Using a grounded theory approach

Myung Sill Chung, Gyeongae Seomun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Korean government has announced a plan for a national policy to deliver smart education among all students. As a result, many people are worried about the possible health-related adverse effects. This qualitative study aimed at analyzing health issues related to middle school students who learn by using smart devices using the grounded theory approach. We conducted in‐depth interviews with 30 students at four middle schools who used smart devices for more than a year. The analysis of this research data was based on the constant comparative method, using grounded theory as a theoretical framework. The data analysis revealed many concepts in 28 subcategories and 13 categories related to smart learning health issues, with the central phenomenon being experience with health problems. Students’ health‐related experiences were classified as physical or psychosocial symptoms. Adverse health effects related to smart learning were related to unsafe smart learning behavior and an inefficient smart learning environment. The consequences appeared to be the formation of diverse digital habits through the ambivalent use of smart devices and differences in ability to control health problems. Our findings suggest that students can form ideal habits for using smart devices if their health issues are well monitored and managed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7062
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 1


  • Digital
  • Grounded theory
  • Health
  • Smart learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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