Too much screen time diverts children away from more active hobbies, such as sports
Researchers found those who spent the most time in front of a screen, an average of two and a half hours a day, had “significantly” higher blood pressure levels than those who spent hardly any.
Researchers believe that one of the reasons could be that too much “screen time” diverts children away from more active hobbies, such as sports, although they think there are also other factors involved.
High blood pressure is one of several risk factors that can increase the risk of developing potentially deadly heart conditions.
The study looked at 111 children aged between three and eight.
On average the children spent 1.5 hours a day in front of the computer, although some spent considerably more.
The findings, published in the Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine journal, show that those children who spent the least amount of time in front of a screen had significantly lower blood pressure levels than those who spent the most.
David Martinez-Gomez, from Iowa State University, said: “The results of this study showed that TV viewing and screen time were associated with elevated blood pressure independent of body composition in children.
“Given that total objective sedentary time was not associated with elevated blood pressure, it appears that other factors, which occur during excessive screen time, should also be considered in the context of sedentary behaviour and elevated blood pressure development in children.”