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Staying glued to computer or television for long hours? You may be at a risk of developing weaker bones leading to osteoporosis and fracture — especially if you are a teenage boy— later in life.
A Norwegian research has found that sedentary lifestyle during adolescence can impact bone mineral density (BMD) negatively and thus compromise the acquisition of peak bone mass.
The researchers, after obtaining data from 463 girls and 484 boys aged 15-18 years, noted that greater computer use at weekends is associated with lower BMD.
The skeleton grows continually from birth to the end of the teenage years, reaching peak bone mass – maximum strength and size – in early adulthood.
Experts concluded, there is a growing concern regarding the possible adverse effects of sedentary lifestyles in youth on bone health and on obesity.
The associations between BMD and screen time were analyzed in a multiple regression model that included adjustment for age, sexual maturation, BMI, leisure time physical activity, smoking, alcohol, cod liver oil and carbonated drink consumption.
The researchers found that boys spent more time in front of the computer than girls.
As well as high screen time being adversely associated to BMD, in boys screen time was also positively related to higher body mass index (BMI) levels. Bone mineral density is a strong predictor of future fracture risk, the researchers said.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), approximately one in five men over the age of 50 worldwide will suffer a fracture as a result of osteoporosis.