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The Link Between Internet Addiction and High Blood Pressure in Teens

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

When you think about someone with high blood pressure, the image that first comes to mind is probably not a young teenager. But, more teens are becoming the victim of heart disease and high blood pressure because of the hours that they sit unmoving in front of the Internet and the arousal associated with video games stimulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. Researchers recently found that teens who spend at least 14 hours a week in front of the Internet have high blood pressure and they found that some teens used the internet excessively, for an average of 25 hours a week. These results also add to the growing research that links excessive internet use and other health struggles like depression, obesity, anxiety, social isolation, and addiction.  The study looked at more than 300 teens ages 14-17 who had their blood pressure taken. They also completed a 55 question survey on internet use, with the results showing 39% of girls were heavy internet users compared to 43% of boys. Researchers found that 43% of heavy internet users were considered overweight compared to 26% of light internet users. (1) 

Children today grow up watching TV, playing on iPads, tablets, and smartphones. They are required to learn how to operate these things from a young age so they can learn and adapt to new technology that hits the market. Technology and the Internet is incredibly useful and necessary for kids and teens today, but without strict monitoring from the very beginning, overuse can happen before you know it. It’s necessary for kids to know how to master it rather than letting it control them. 

To combat Internet addiction and excessive use of social media, television, or web surfing, set limits on your children’s use of technology at a young age. In addition, set up parental controls so your children and teens cannot get hooked into the shocking and incredibly addictive world of pornography. The Internet is a big place and can get incredibly alluring – especially to a young, developing brain. If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of addiction to video games, pornography, technology, or social media, seek professional help immediately. For more information, go to: http://realbattle.org/resources/

 

 

  1. “Internet addiction may lead to high blood pressure in teens: Research.”  Times of India. October 8, 2015. Accessed Feb 29, 2016. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/computing/Internet-addiction-may-lead-to-high-blood-pressure-in-teens-Research/articleshow/49270866.cms