The long hours spent by teens watching TV, browsing the web or playing video games is often blamed for rising obesity rates among young adults, but findings published this week in BMC Public Health show the ever-increasing amounts of "screen time" may also be causing them physical pain.
In the study, 31,022 Nordic teens were surveyed about their computer and TV habits and how often they experienced backaches, headaches or neck and shoulder pain. The results showed a correlation between teens' screen time and physical ailments, reports Booster Shots:
Researchers found a consistent but weak link between boys who reported having backaches weekly and those who said they spent more time using computers, watching television and playing computer games. For girls, a link was found between those who had headaches and who also said they spent more time on the computer and watching TV. The results held even when the researchers adjusted for levels of physical activity.
The study's authors think that the link between back and head pain and screen time might not be related to the kind of screen activity the teens were engaged in, but to the amount of time they spent doing it and how they sat or stood while screen-engaged.
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