AN OXFORD University study found there is little evidence that spending time gaming can damage teenagers’ health.

Work by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) found there was little impact on teenagers who spent time using screens before they went to bed – despite this being widely reported.

The OII used data from Ireland, United States and UK and said it used a ‘more rigorous methodology’ than previous studies.

Professor Andrew Przybylski, director of research at the OII, said: “While psychological science can be a powerful tool for understanding the link between screen use and adolescent well-being, it still routinely fails to supply stakeholders and the public with high-quality, transparent and objective investigations into growing concerns about digital technologies.

“Analysing three different datasets, which include improved measurements of screen time, we found little clear-cut evidence that screen time decreases adolescent well-being, even if the use of digital technology occurs directly before bedtime.”

Amy Orben, a researcher at the OII and a lecturer at The Queen's College, Oxford, said: “Implementing best practice statistical and methodological techniques we found little evidence for substantial negative associations between digital-screen engagement and adolescent well-being."

However, an American study last year found young people who spend seven hours or more looking at screens were 'twice as likely' to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety.