Time Spent in Front of TV or Computer Screen Can Cause Problems for Children

A new study published in the June 9, 2010 issue of the BMC Public Health Journal warned that, “time spent on screen-based activity is a contributing factor to physical complaints among young people, and that effects accumulate across different types of screen-based activities.”

Based on this study, an article in the Irish Times on August 10, 2010, reported that the Chiropractic Association of Ireland is warning parents about the effect of children spending too much time in front of computer and TV screens. In the article, the Chiropractic Association of Ireland noted that, “excessive time in front of computer and television screens could mean an increase in back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches for their children.”

The Chiropractic Association of Ireland noted that the time spent in front of a screen watching television and playing computer games leads to back pain and headaches. The study itself points out that the kind of screen or activity that the child is engaged in is less important than the time spent in these activities.

In the Irish Times article, Dr. Attracta Farrell, president of the Chiropractic Association of Ireland said: “Not moving for extended periods causes the muscles in the neck, arms and back to stiffen up and become sore. On top of that, slouching increases the compressive force through the spine.”

Dr. Farrell stressed it wasn’t necessary for children or teenagers to give up technology entirely, but she did advise moderation. “It’s all about moderation. Computers and TV can be a valuable source of entertainment and education for young people and you’re never going to convince them to give it up altogether.”

In their conclusion, the researchers again noted that the time spent in these activities was the important factor. They stated, “The observed associations indicate that time spent on screen-based activity is a contributing factor to physical complaints among young people, and that effects accumulate across different types of screen-based activities.”

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