Teens more sedentary on weekends

Washington: Weekend was once considered to be an outdoor fun break from a stressful week, but a recent study has revealed that the sedentary lifestyle is taking its toll on outdoor activities.

The research talks about children spending excessive time in from of a TV or computer screen rather than indulging in outdoor activities.

"A sedentary lifestyle has become one of the major public health problems in developed countries", said Juan P. Rey-Lopez, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Zaragoza (UNIZAR).

"During the week, one-third of teenagers said the watched more than two hours of television per day. At weekends, this figure exceeds 60%", he added further.

The study analyzed the prevalence of sedentary behaviour in 3,278 adolescents (1,537 boys and 1,741 girls aged between 12.5 and 17.5) in 10 European cities.

The teenagers indicated the amount of time they spent in front of the television, computer and games consoles, the amount of time spent connected to the Internet and the amount of time spent studying outside school hours.

The researchers also studied the availability of computers, televisions and consoles at home and in teenagers`` bedrooms, and their impact on whether they watched too much television (more than two hours per day).

"Our findings support the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics not to put televisions in teenagers`` bedrooms, in order to reduce the amount of time they spend watching the television", says Rey-López.

He said that keeping a games console or television in the bedroom triples the risk of exceeding the health recommendations to not spend more than two hours per day watching television

The results are published in the July issue of the journal Preventive Medicine.