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Online behavior without sleep, exercise linked to increased school absence

April 18, 2024

New findings from Finland underscore the impact of excessive internet use on school attendance among teenagers, particularly girls. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Helsinki and published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, sheds light on the concerning trend of teens spending too much time online at the expense of essential activities like eating, sleeping, and exercising.

According to the research, girls are more susceptible to excessive internet use, possibly due to their higher engagement with social media platforms compared to boys. However, while girls exhibit more internet-related behaviors, boys are more likely to report truancy or absence from school, with girls more commonly citing medical reasons for their absences.

The study, which analyzed data from over 86,000 adolescents aged 14-16, highlights the importance of healthy habits and strong parental relationships in mitigating the risks associated with excessive internet use. Adolescents who reported getting the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep, engaging in regular physical activity, and having trusting relationships with their parents were found to have lower risks of school absence.

Furthermore, the research emphasizes the need for school health and wellbeing services to address issues related to excessive internet use and school attendance. By focusing on promoting healthy habits and fostering positive relationships between students and their parents, educators and health professionals can work together to support students in maintaining a balance between their online and offline activities.

Source: PTI

Also read: Sleeping under lights harmful for health

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