Heavy internet use may increase high blood pressure risk

Heavy internet use may increase high blood pressure risk

The Internet is a great place to get information, connect with your friends and loved ones, and so much more. It is the portal to everything we need and love in today’s society.

According to Pew Research Center, “24% of teens go online “almost constantly,” facilitated by the widespread availability of smartphones.” The study from Pew Research Center also showed that 92 percent of teens report going online every day.

New research from the Henry Ford Health Center shows that heavy Internet use may increase high blood pressure risk in teens.

The researchers found that teens that spent at least 14 hours on the Internet had higher blood pressure. Of 134 teens that were identified as heavy Internet users, 26 had high blood pressure.

The study is believed to be the first linking high blood pressure and Internet use. The research adds to the growing body of studies linking heavy Internet use to other health risks like addiction, anxiety, depression, obesity, and social problems.

Andrea Cassidy-Bushrow, Ph.D., MPH, a researcher at Henry Ford’s Department of Public Health Sciences and lead author of the study says that the most important message for parents is moderation.

Using the Internet is part of our daily life but it shouldn’t consume us,” she says.

In our study, teens considered heavy Internet users were on the Internet an average of 25 hours a week. It’s important that young people take regular breaks from their computer or smartphone, and engage in some form of physical activity. I recommend to parents they limit their children’s’ time at home on the Internet. I think two hours a day, five days a week is good rule of thumb.”

Dr. Cassidy-Bushrow believes that this information will also be useful for school nurses. “School nurses could conduct annual health screenings where blood pressure and Internet use behaviors could be assessed. Students with an elevated blood pressure would then have a follow-up visit to determine next steps,” she noted.

The study showing that heavy Internet use may increase high blood pressure risk was published in The Journal of School Nursing.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Heavy Internet Use May Put Teens at Risk for High Blood Pressure.” Henry Ford Health System. Henry Ford Health System, 06 Oct. 2015. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
2. “Time Spent on the Internet and Adolescent Blood Pressure.” The Journal of School Nursing. National Association of School Nurses, n.d. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.
3. “Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015.” Pew Research Center. Pew Research Center, 08 Apr. 2015. Web. 12 Oct. 2015.

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