A lot Of Screen Time And Inactivity Puts Children at Risk Of Heart disease Later in Life

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A recent study cautions that allowing children to watch TV excessively over time can result in heart-related problems in later years. The research reveals a connection between prolonged inactivity from childhood to young adulthood and heart damage, regardless of factors such as blood pressure and weight.

Left ventricle mass increases with prolonged periods of inactivity

Prolonged periods of inactivity from ages 11 to 24 result in a slight increase in the left ventricle mass of the heart by 0.004g/m for each additional minute of inactivity. This effect becomes noticeable in individuals aged 17 to 24.

During the transition from childhood to young adulthood, daily sedentary time rose by 2.8 hours (169 minutes) on average. This led to a daily expansion of the left ventricle by 0.7g/m. Previous studies demonstrated that a comparable growth of 1g/m in the left ventricle mass over seven years doubled the risk of heart issues, strokes, and mortality.

The recent study found that 11-year-olds were inactive for approximately 362 minutes daily. At age 15 this inactivity increased to 474 minutes and 531 minutes at age 24.

Sedentary life in children associated with heart disease

The prolonged screen time in youth contributes to an increased risk of heart issues, as seen in studies on adults. Dr. Andrew Agbaje from the University of Eastern Finland emphasizes the need for children and teenagers to be more physically active to safeguard their future health. Agbaje said that study reveals that youngsters spend over six hours daily being sedentary, which rises by about three hours as they transition to young adulthood.

The research draws data from a large global cohort that started observing children in 1990. This pioneering study investigated the lasting impacts of sedentary habits on heart health. Participants aged 11, 15, and 24 wore smartwatches for seven days to monitor activity, and ultrasounds measured the heart’s left ventricle mass at ages 15 and 24. With 766 participants (55% girls), the study examined the link between inactivity from ages 11 to 24 and heart metrics from ages 17 to 24.

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