Excessive Screen Time in Childhood Linked to Heart Damage: New Study Reveals

2023-10-20 03:49:59

Excessive monitor usage time increases heart weight.
Unlimited screen time leads to earlier onset of cardiovascular disease in adulthood
Cardiovascular risk factors should include ‘accumulated time of sedentary behavior in childhood’

Many studies have shown that excessive use of screens on electronic devices such as televisions, video games, smartphones, and tablets is detrimental to both children’s neurological development and socialization. This is also because it causes children to disconnect from their surroundings, which can lead to very real addictions that require the intervention of a mental health professional.

Children’s use of electronic device screens / Photo = Pixabay

The World Health Organization recommends that children aged 2 to 4 not look at electronic screens for more than 1 hour a day.

Screen use can cause neurocognitive learning disabilities in the early stages of childhood personality formation, and spending excessive time in front of screens during childhood and adolescence can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, there is a proven link between excessive use of screens and an increase in sedentary lifestyles in children.

“Excessive monitor usage time increases heart weight”

A new study shows yet another reason to limit the time children spend in front of the TV or smartphone.

Children who lead a sedentary lifestyle have a higher risk of heart damage in early adulthood, according to a new study by a research team from the University of Eastern Finland and presented at the 2023 European Society of Cardiology meeting. Lack of activity during infancy can cause heart attacks and strokes later in life, even if body weight and blood pressure are within normal ranges.

The research team analyzed the health and lifestyle of 14,500 babies born in 1990 and 1991 until they became adults.

Of these, 766 were asked to wear a smart watch that monitored their activity for a week at the age of 11, and were asked to wear it again at the ages of 15 and 24. At the same time, echocardiography was performed on the left ventricle of each subject at the ages of 17 and 24, and height, gender, blood pressure, body fat, smoking status, physical activity, and socioeconomic status were analyzed.

The study results showed that at age 11, the subjects sat for an average of 362 minutes a day. These increased to 474 minutes per day in adolescence (age 15) and to 531 minutes per day in adulthood (age 24). Over the 13-year study period, sitting time increased by an average of 2.8 hours per day, with a significant portion of that time spent sitting in front of a screen.

The most serious thing is that echocardiography shows that the increase in heart weight in young people is directly related to the time spent sitting. The likelihood of heart attack and stroke increased as adults, and the direct relationship between cumulative inactivity time and heart damage was independent of body weight and blood pressure.

‘Children’s sitting time is associated with heart damage in adolescence’ / Capture from the European Society of Cardiology

Cardiovascular risk factors should include ‘accumulated time of sedentary behavior in childhood’

It is well known that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of metabolic diseases (obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.), neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular disease in adults, but this new study suggests that sedentary behavior at a very young age can be linked to It shows that unlimited screen time can lead to an earlier onset of cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

It’s most important for parents to encourage children and teenagers to move around more and limit the time they spend watching TV, social media and playing video games.

The research team says the list of known conventional cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) should be revised to include cumulative time spent engaging in sedentary behavior during childhood.

Chemical News Reporter Kim Yu-jeong

Chemistry is everywhere. © Chemical News Unauthorized reproduction and redistribution prohibited

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