Heavy Internet Use Tied to High Blood Pressure in Teens
Is the Internet harmful to your teen’s health?
According to a new study, published in the _Journal of School Nursing, _heavy Internet use may be linked to increased risk for developing high blood pressure in teens.
To assess the health effects of Internet use in teens, researchers gathered data from 335 teenage students (ages 14 to 17) and analyzed results from a physical exam, a blood pressure screening, and a 55-part survey regarding their Internet use that they filled out before the physical.
Their findings showed:
- The teens spent, on average, 15 hours a week on the Internet at home or in school;
- 26 out of 134 teens who described themselves as heavy Internet users had elevated blood pressure levels
- Black teens were more likely than white teens to report being heavy Internet users
- Boys were more likely than girls to report being heavy Internet users
- Heavy Internet users were more likely to be overweight, explaining the increased risk of high blood pressure
The study recommends limiting Internet usage in teens to “two hours a day, five days a week." The results may give schools more reason to incorporate physical activity into teen schedules, while restricting overuse of the Internet.