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Check your teen's blood pressure - internet elevates it

Staff writer |
Teens who spend hours on the internet may be at risk for high blood pressure, say researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

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In a study published in the Journal of School Nursing, researchers found that teens who spent at least 14 hours a week on the internet had elevated blood pressure. Of 134 teens described by researchers as heavy internet users, 26 had elevated blood pressure.

This is believed to be the first study to show a link between time spent on the internet and high blood pressure. The findings add to growing research that has shown an association between heavy Internet use and other health risks like addiction, anxiety, depression, obesity and social isolation.

Andrea Cassidy-Bushrow, Ph.D., MPH, a researcher at Henry Ford’s Department of Public Health Sciences and the study’s lead author, says the take-home message for teens and parents is moderation.

“Using the internet is part of our daily life but it shouldn’t consume us,” she says.

“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.”


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