Adolescent couch potatoes have significantly more headaches compared with their healthier counterparts, and each unhealthy behavior has an additive effect on headache, according to a study from Norway.
Excess weight, inactivity, and smoking independently increased the risk of recurrent headache. And as the number of unhealthy behaviors increased, so did headache diagnoses and frequency.
investigators interviewed nearly 6,000 junior high and high school students living in the same Norwegian county from 1995 to 1997. The interview included a comprehensive questionnaire that elicited information about headache, smoking, physical activity, and other health and lifestyle issues. The students also underwent a brief clinical examination.
The results showed that roughly a third of the participants had low physical activity, a fifth smoked, and a sixth were overweight. Individually, the factors increased headache prevalence by 20-50 percent compared with the good-lifestyle group.