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Internet Addiction Can Make One Sick
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Internet Addiction Can Make One Sick

Spending too much time online can increase your risk of catching a cold or the flu, scientists have warned.
Those with greater levels of Internet addiction are more likely to succumb to illness, than those who spend fewer hours online.
Researchers at the universities of Swansea in the UK and Milan in Italy believe that internet addicts are more secluded, and as a result have weakened immune systems, reports ipresspage.com.
They said the lack of interaction with others and less time spent outside exposing themselves to germs played a role.
Past studies have also found people who spend more time online experience greater sleep deprivation, have worse eating habits, engage in less exercise and tend to smoke and drink more alcohol.
Such behavior can harm their immune system and increase vulnerability to diseases.
Prof. Phil Read of Swansea University, said: ‘We found that the impact of the Internet on people’s health was independent of a range of other factors, like depression, sleep deprivation, and loneliness, which are associated with high levels of Internet use and also with poor health.’
Researchers evaluated 500 people aged 18 to 101 years old.
They found that those who reported problems with excessive online use suffered more cold and flu symptoms that those who spent less time.
Around 40% reported mild or worse levels of online addiction - a figure which did not differ between males and females.
People with greater levels of Internet addiction had 30% more cold and flu symptoms than those with less usage.
Researchers also found that people Internet addicts may suffer from great stress when disconnected from the net.
This cycle of stress and relief may lead to altered levels of cortisol, a hormone that impacts on the immune system, Read and his team noted.
“It may also be that those who spend a long time online experience reduced immune function as a result of simply not having enough contact with others and their germs.”
The team found most people reported using the Internet on average for six hours a day.
Caption:  Those who reported problems with excessive online use suffered more cold and flu symptoms that those who spent less time.

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