Teens & Screens: Too Much Technology Affects Bone Health
There's been story after story about how much time teens are spending on their phones. We've even covered that topic ourselves (just last month in our "Help! I Can't Put My Phone Down" article). Studies point to the idea that putting down our electronic devices can make everyone happier and healthier. For example, too much time staring at a Facebook feed could increase feelings of depression, while looking at a phone before bed lessens a person's amount of sleep. Most recently, a study analyzed how screen time is linked to teen bone health.
Researchers in Norway found that teen boys who spent several hours staring at a phone screen had lower bone mineral density on all body sites. On average, boys had more screen time than their female counterparts on both weekdays (four hours/day) and weekends (five hours/day). For both genders, the more screen time, the less physical activities they participated in.
Here's what the researchers say about this important new finding:
"To our knowledge, this is the first study to present associations between bone mass and screen-based sedentary behavior with repeated measurements.
Our study suggests persisting associations of screen-based sedentary activities on bone health in adolescence. This detrimental association should therefore be regarded as of public health importance and followed closely, since improvement of peak bone mass is possible."
If you know someone with a tech addiction, fear not! This awesome How To Deal video is filled with tips and advice to get teens to step away from the screens. It's a good way to avoid texting related drama and avoid worsening their bone density.