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Too much screen time can be detrimental to bone health in teenage boys.

A new study finds that spending too much time in front of computers, TVs and other screens can be detrimental to bone health in teenage boys.

The research, led by Dr. Anne Winther at the Arctic University of Norway in Tromso, assessed bone mineral density in 484 boys and 463 girls and its association with screen time and physical activity (or lack thereof). According to the study's findings, the boys exhibited higher levels of screen time than girls and consequently suffered from lower bone mineral density. Conversely, girls who spent more time in front of computers and TVs — approximately four to six hours per day — actually featured higher levels of bone mineral density than female teens who watched for 1.5 hours or less.

"Bone mineral density is a strong predictor of future fracture risk. Our findings for girls are intriguing and definitely merit further exploration in other studies and population groups," said Dr. Winther in an official statement. "The findings for boys on the other hand clearly show that sedentary lifestyle during adolescence can impact on [bone mineral 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."

Although further research is necessary to demonstrate whether there is a true cause-and-effect relationship between screen time exposure and hindered bone health in teenage boys, these initial findings show that it may be wiser to err on the side of the caution and spend less time in front of the TV or on the computer.

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