Though the internet is undeniably packed with great things—bear videos, cat videos, bear videos—it's probably not the greatest idea to spend too much time surfing the ol' world wide web. Some researchers at Detroit's Henry Ford Hospital sought to prove this thesis with a recent study measuring the blood pressure of teens (between the ages of 14-17) who are "heavy Internet users." Their findings seemed to confirm the obvious: being on the Internet all the time isn't great for your health, or at least isn't correlated with good health. Via EurekAlert:
In a study published in the Journal of School Nursing, researchers found that teens who spent at least 14 hours a week on the Internet had elevated blood pressure. Of 134 teens described by researchers as heavy Internet users, 26 had elevated blood pressure.
"Using the Internet is part of our daily life but it shouldn't consume us," says Andrea Cassidy-Bushrow, the study's lead author. "In our study, teens considered heavy Internet users were on the Internet an average of 25 hours a week."
According to the study, 19.4% of the heavy internet usage teens tested for high blood pressure. That's compared to 12.2% for moderate users, and 6.9% for light users.
The usual caveats apply—the sample may not be definitive, the data may reflect an effect rather than a cause—but this is at least some indication that there's a connection between spending lots of time sitting in front of a computer and an unhealthy lifestyle.
This is very encouraging news for bloggers.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.