London, April 5:
Hooked to computer or television for long hours? It may put you at the risk of developing weaker bones leading to osteoporosis and fracture – especially if you are a teenaged boy – later in life.
The findings for boys clearly show that sedentary lifestyle during adolescence can impact bone mineral density (BMD) negatively and thus compromise the acquisition of peak bone mass, a Norwegian research has said.
The skeleton grows continually from birth to the end of the teenage years, reaching peak bone mass – maximum strength and size – in early adulthood.
“There is consequently growing concern regarding the possible adverse effects of sedentary lifestyles in youth on bone health and on obesity,” said Anne Winther, Arctic University of Norway, Tromso.
The study explored the hypothesis that greater computer use at weekends is associated with lower BMD.
The data was obtained from 463 girls and 484 boys aged 15-18 years.
The associations between BMD and screen time were analysed in a multiple regression model that included adjustment for age, sexual maturation, BMI, leisure time physical activity, smoking, alcohol, cod liver oil and carbonated drink consumption.
Not surprisingly, the researchers found that boys spent more time in front of the computer than girls.
As well as high screen time being adversely associated to BMD, in boys screen time was also positively related to higher body mass index (BMI) levels.
Bone mineral density is a strong predictor of future fracture risk, the researchers said.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), approximately one in five men over the age of 50 worldwide will suffer a fracture as a result of osteoporosis.