Study Find Spending too much time in front of the TV could lead to weaker bones for boys

Childhood and the teen years are critical periods for growing bones and establishing a bone density level that can affect osteoporosis risk much later in life.

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A small Norwegian study has shown that teenage boys who spend too many hours in front of computers or televisions, without participating in enough weight-bearing exercise could develop weaker bones as they age.

Childhood and the teen years are critical periods for growing bones and establishing a bone density level that can affect osteoporosis risk much later in life.

According to study author, Anne Winther:

“We found a relationship between higher screen time and lower bone mineral density in boys, we are not able to detect causality with this study design, but it is likely that screen time is an indicator of a lifestyle that has negative impact on bone mass acquisition.”

Of the 316 boys and 372 girls aged 15 to 19 years old, those who spent 2 to 2 hours, or more than 6 hours, in front of the screen every day tended to be slightly heavier than their peers who spent less time.

Also boys overall spent more time in front of the computer and television than girls (five hours a day versus four).

The boys with heavy screen time also had lower bone mineral density (BMD) levels, the amount of mineral per square centimeter of bone , while the girls’ BMD was higher with heavier screen time.

The team also noted that decreased lean mass (muscle) and increased fat mass could be more harmful to boys than girls and might actually protect female bones.

According to her,

“The most important finding was that the detrimental relationship between this screen-based sedentary behavior and bone mass density in boys persisted two years later,”

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