Study: Heavy Internet Use Linked To High Blood Pressure In Teens

giphyResearchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have found a link between heavy Internet use in teens and high blood pressure. Teens who spent over 14 hours a week on the Internet had “elevated blood pressure.” Of the 134 teens studied and defined as heavy Internet users, “26 had elevated blood pressure.”

From the report:

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.

Cassidy-Bushrow recommends moderation in all things Internet, no matter how much the kids whine.

“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,” she said. “I think two hours a day, five days a week is good rule of thumb.”

The study also found that students spent 15 hours on the Internet per week on average and that 39% of girls were heavy Internet users vs. 43% of boys. Another important data point? “43 percent of heavy Internet users were considered overweight compared to 26 percent of light Internet users.”

The Internet, in short, is killing us.