Danger of screens: children exposed 2 hours a day to a screen develop hypertension

Screen consumption (television, telephone, tablet) for more than 2 hours a day significantly increases blood pressure and the risk of hypertension in children.

The data associating television consumption, physical inactivity and obesity are not recent. Research conducted by the universities of Zaragoza and Sao Paulo now highlights the effect of excessive screen consumption in children on the risk of hypertension. This study is based on the cohort of IDEFICS (Identification and Prevention of Dietary- and Lifestyle-induced Health Effects in Children and Infants), involving 8 European countries, with nearly 5200 children aged 2 to 10 years.

2 hours of screens, 30% risk of hypertension

According to the analysis conducted over 2 years, the cumulative incidence of high blood pressure is very high in this population: 110 out of 1000 individuals. The authors calculated that being in front of a screen (television, computer, console) for more than 2 hours in a row increases the relative risk of developing hypertension by nearly 30%. Worrying figures because they not only confirm that physical inactivity is common today in children and this screen consumption predisposes to complications later in life, including hypertension.

Danger of screens

To counteract this phenomenon, the authors recommend the practice of one hour of physical activity per day in children and the limitation of screens to less than 2 hours per day. And to back up these recommendations, they point to their observation of a 50% increased risk of hypertension in children not meeting this daily target.

Ferreira de Moraes AC Incidence of high blood pressure in children — Effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviors: The IDEFICS study. International journal of Cardiology. doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.11.175


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