Here is just another reason why you should turn off those video games and get your kids outside. Recent studies reveal that teenage males who spend most of their time on their computers or playing video games are at higher risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis in the future. Physical activity in the teen years is as necessary as ever before.
A Norwegian study helped to prove once again that leading a sedentary lifestyle leads to detrimental effects on our overall health status. The study looked at 463 girls and 484 boys ages 15 to18 years who took part in the Fit Futures study from 2010-2011. This study reviewed 90%+ of all first year high school students in the region in question.
Overall, it was determined that boys definitely spent more time in front of computers and console games than girls. It doesn’t stop there either; the more time boys spent in front of console games, in addition to their low bone density, their BMI’s were higher. However, girls who spent 4-6 hours in front of the computer had higher bone density than the boys who spent less than 1 1/2 hours in front of a screen daily. So in the end, the boys got the shorter end of the stick.
Dr Anne Winther of the Arctic University of Norway said: “Our findings for girls are intriguing and definitely merit further exploration in other studies and population groups. The findings for boys, on the other hand, clearly show that sedentary lifestyles during adolescence can impact on bone density and thus compromise the acquisition of peak bone mass. This can have a negative impact in terms of osteoporosis and fracture risk later in life.”
So while we often think of osteoporosis as more of a womanly issue as the population ages, it seems that men and boys need to think twice about their lifestyles more than ever before. Such studies have prompted the IOF (International Osteoporosis Foundation) to focus on osteoporosis in men as a key World Osteoporosis Day theme in 2014.