Objective: To examine the association between duration and type of screen time (TV, video games, computer time) and blood pressure (BP) and lipids in overweight and obese adolescents.
Design: This is a cross-sectional study of 282 overweight or obese adolescents aged 14-18 years (86 males, 196 females) assessed at baseline prior to beginning a lifestyle intervention study for weight control. Sedentary behaviours, defined as hours per day spent watching TV, playing video games, recreational computer use and total screen time were measured by self-report. We examined the associations between sedentary behaviours and BP and lipids using multiple linear regression.
Results: Seated video gaming was the only sedentary behaviour associated with elevated BP and lipids before and after adjustment for age, sex, pubertal stage, parental education, body mass index (BMI), caloric intake, percent intake in dietary fat, physical activity (PA) duration, and PA intensity. Specifically, video gaming remained positively associated with systolic BP (adjusted r = 0.13, β = 1.1, p<0.05) and total cholesterol/HDL ratio (adjusted r = 0.12, β = 0.14, p<0.05).
Conclusions: Playing video games was the only form of sedentary behaviour that was independently associated with increased BP and lipids. Our findings provide support for reducing time spent playing seated video games as a possible means to promote health and prevent the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in this high risk group of overweight and obese adolescents. Future research is needed to first replicate these findings and subsequently aim to elucidate the mechanisms linking seated video gaming and elevated BP and lipids in this high risk population.
Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00195858.