High Blood Pressure Problems Linked to TV and Computer Use

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Your kids might be healthy and thriving right now, but their lifestyle, even as young children may be laying the groundwork for health problems later in life. As technology allows more children to be involved in health studies without using invasive testing measures, a clearer picture is becoming obvious. An active child is usually a healthier adult. Simple changes that can contribute to the chances that your child grows up without health problems can be as simple as reducing TV and computer use.

If your kids spend too much time using the computer or watching TV, they run a higher risk to develop high blood pressure.  This can lead to heart problems in the future. As the arteries narrow, the vessels are less able to respond to the changes in the blood flows that people experience. This causes an increased blood pressure.

A recent study was released in the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association that indicates that the arteries behind the eyes narrow as the child watches the screen. An average of 1.9 hours per day was spent by the children in front of the screen. The arteries behind the eyes were chosen to be studied because the researchers didn’t need to use invasive tests to study the children.

As moms know, this is not an excessive amount of time for the TV and computer screen combined as kids use the electronic devices for both educational and entertainment purposes.

The children in the Australian study were ages 6 and 7. Of the 1,492 kids tested, the average screen time was 1.9 hours a day, and the time the kids spent on physical activity averaged about 36 minutes a day.

Children who spent at least an hour a day being physically active had wider arteries, according to results of the study. This could lead to a blood pressure difference of 10 points, which could be significant in people who are on the borderline of the blood pressure scale.

Watching TV and sitting in front of the computer aren’t the only contributing factors toward narrowing of the arteries and other high blood pressure problems. Weight and high cholesterol contribute to the same medical concerns.

Physical activity can help maintain healthy weight and cholesterol levels, but the kids aren’t getting that beneficial exercise if they are parked in front of the screen.

Author: Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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