Boys with Higher Computer Exposure Have Weaker Bones

May 23, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. aim /eɪm/ (v.) – to target a specific goal or purpose
Example: The study aims to determine the relationship between lifestyle and obesity.

2. exposure /ɪkˈspoʊʒər/ (n.) – the condition of being exposed with or experiencing something
ExampleExposure to too much sunlight may cause severe damage to the skin.

3. opt /ɒpt/ (v.) – to decide to do something
Example: The girls opt to play with dolls than to play board games.

4. risk /rɪsk/ (n.) – the possibility that something bad may happen
Example: Smoking increases people’s risk of having lung cancer.

5. suffer /ˈsʌfər/ (v.) – to experience something unpleasant, such as an illness or an injury
Example: The woman suffered from depression when her father passed away.


Read the text below.
A new study revealed that boys who spend too much time in front of the computer have higher risks of having weak bones and osteoporosis.

The study was presented in the World Congress on Osteoporosis [os-tee-oh-puh-ROH-sis], Osteoarthritis [os-tee-oh-ahr-THRAHY-tis] and Musculoskeletal [MUHS-kyuh-loh-SKEL-i-tl] Diseases. It involved 948 Norwegian children aged 15 to 18 years old. With this study, researchers aimed to prove that longer computer use results in lower bone mineral density (BMD).

Researchers measured the children’s BMD through an advanced x-ray technology. The children’s lifestyles were determined through a series of surveys and questionnaires.

As expected, the researchers found that the 484 boys were more likely to stay longer on the computer than the 464 girls. Also, the boys who stayed in front of the screen longer had lower BMD, while the girls had higher ones.

What caught the researchers’ attention is the finding that the boys’ longer exposure to the computer also constitutes to a higher body mass index (BMI). According to Dr. Anne Winther, sedentary lifestyle of boys during adolescence to early adulthood could lead to a higher risk of obesity and bone problems such as fractures and osteoporosis.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) also discovered that around one out of five men who are more than fifty years old suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis.

The researchers advised that boys should have an active lifestyle as early as adolescence up until early adulthood. This is the time when the bones reach its maximum strength and size. Moreover, boys should opt to play outdoor activities rather than to stay at home and play computer games.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think longer exposure to computer also results in obesity?
·         How else can children strengthen their bones?

Discussion B

·         What other activities could be done to promote active lifestyle?
·         What are the advantages of having an active lifestyle?


May 23, 2014