News on Wellness

Too much screen time in childhood may lead to osteoporosis in older age

screen time in childhood

More and more kids are spending time in front of their computer, in front to the TV playing video games.
Norwegian researchers, writing in the journal Osteoporosis International, report the results of a study which found that too much time sitting in front of screens may be linked to poorer bone health in teen boys.
screen time in childhood
The researchers from the Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, arrived at this conclusion after studying more than 450 boys and 450 girls, aged 15 to 18. Participant underwent bone mineral density tests and assessed their lifestyle habits through questionnaires and interviews, including how much time they spent in front of the television or computer on weekends, and their levels of physical activity.

The researchers found that boys spent more time in front of the computer than girls and because of that they tend to have a lower bone density throughout the body. Surprising, researchers also found that girls who spent four to six hours in front of the computer had higher bone mineral density than girls who spent less than 1.5 hours of screen time per day.

“Bone mineral density is a strong predictor of future fracture risk. Our findings for girls are intriguing and definitely merit further exploration in other studies and population groups. The findings for boys on the other hand clearly show that sedentary lifestyle during adolescence can impact on BMD and thus compromise the acquisition of peak bone mass. This can have a negative impact in terms of osteoporosis and fracture risk later in life,” Lead author of the study Dr Anne Winther, Arctic University of Norway, stated.

Osteoporosis is a major public health problem, affecting 25 million older Americans. About 23 million women and about 2 million men have osteoporosis. Women are 5 times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. However, after the age of 75 years, osteoporosis affects men and women at about the same rate.

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