Fitness may reduce negative effects associated with too much screen time

Do you spend a lot of time in front of a computer or TV screen? Whether for leisure or for work, we spend a considerable amount being inactive while in front of the computer or TV. With increasing numbers of hand-held electronic devices like tablets and smartphones at the touch of our fingertips, it makes it even more difficult for us to pull away from the screen.

Unsurprisingly, many researchers have found a strong correlation between too much screen time and negative health effects. Excess sedentary behaviour has been linked to higher risk of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and mortality.

How can one decrease the potential negative effects of too much screen? The answer is simply to cut the amount of time we spend in front of the screen. However, for some working individuals who may be required to use a computer, it is very difficult to do so. How else then can one do to potentially minimize the health risks mentioned above? According to a new research shared by BioMed Central, one way is to be moderately fit.

In the study conducted by UK Biobank, researchers found that participants who had lower levels of physical activity, grip strength, and fitness had higher incidences of cardiovascular heart disease, cancer, and mortality. One of the authors, Dr. Carlos A. Celis-Morales suggested that measuring grip strength is a simple, quick and cheap method in which one can identify individuals who may be more prone to developing these health risks. However, it is important to note that the researchers cannot conclude a cause-and-effect relationship.

So, what can we take away from all this research? It highlights the potential benefits of having strong grip strength, increased physical activity, and high fitness level. For the average person who may require professional help reaching these goals, fitness instructors and personal trainers are very much needed for overall improvement of health.

References:

Celis-Morales, Carlos A., et al. “Associations of Discretionary Screen Time with Mortality, Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer Are Attenuated by Strength, Fitness and Physical Activity: Findings from the UK Biobank Study.” BMC Medicine, vol. 16, no. 1, 2018, doi:10.1186/s12916-018-1063-1.

BioMed Central. “Time spent sitting at a screen matters less if you are fit and strong.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180524174604.htm>.

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