Heavy internet use causing High BP and obesity in teens

Using Internet four long hours puts you at the risk of high blood pressure and can make you gain weight, says news study.

In the study, researchers found that teens who spent more than 14 hours a week on the internet had greater chances of high blood pressure.

The study was based on the analysis of 335 teens including males and females aged between 14 years and 17 years. Blood pressure of every participant was measured during a physical exam by doctors. Before the physical exam, participants were asked 55 questions on their internet use in last 7 days. Questions ranged from their internet use, how they spent time over the web., how active they were on social media, etc.

According to study authors, internet use is visiting websites, emailing, playing online games, complete homework, downloading files, shopping, using social media like facebook or maintaining web pages.

After analyzing the data, researchers found that teens on average spent nearly 15 hours in a week over the web. Out of 134 teens described as heavy internet users, 26 had high blood pressure. 39 per cent girls in the study came in the category of heavy internet users while 43 per cent boys used the internet heavily. Teens who spent more than 25 hours in a week on the internet were heavy internet users, said researchers.

It was found that 43 per cent of heavy internet users were overweight while only 26 per cent of light internet users were on higher BMI side. While explaining study authors said that teens instead of playing outdoors game restrict themselves in a room just to use internet. Lack of physical activity causes them to gain weight.

Andrea Cassidy-Bushrow, a researcher at Henry Ford’s Department of Public Health Sciences said that the internet is essential in today’s environment but it’s overuse is harming us and we should take necessary steps to protect our young generation.

“It’s important that young people take regular breaks from their computer or smartphone, and engage in some form of physical activity. I recommend to parents they limit their children’s’ time at home on the internet. I think two hours a day, five days a week is good rule of thumb,” Cassidy-Bushrow said.

It is one of the first study that has found an interlink between internet use and high blood pressure.

The study was published in the Journal of School Nursing.


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