Spending too much time on the Internet might be linked with a higher risk of having high blood pressure (BP) as far as teenagers are concerned, as per the findings of a study performed by scientists from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The findings are published in the Journal of School Nursing.
Indulging in too much of Internet daily is said to have a number of consequences like addiction, anxiety and depression, according to past studies. This study is said to be the first to link time spent on the Internet with high BP.
Teenagers spending at least 14 hours surfing on the Internet were found to have high BP.
26 of the 134 “heavy Internet users” had elevated BP.
The authors put emphasis on the need to take breaks from the computer.
“Using the Internet is part of our daily life but it shouldn’t consume us,” says Andrea Cassidy-Bushrow, the lead author. “In our study, teens considered heavy Internet users were on the Internet an average of 25 hours a week.
“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.”
Dr. Cassidy-Bushrow adds that the health of students should be monitored in terms of the link revealed in their study.
“School nurses could conduct annual health screenings where blood pressure and Internet use behaviors could be assessed. Students with an elevated blood pressure would then have a follow-up visit to determine next steps.”
Another finding involves heavy Internet use and weight. It was found that 43 % of the heavy users were overweight as compared to 26 % of the light Internet users.