When I was growing up...ahem..in the 80’s...the personal computer was introduced as something that was going to revolutionize the way we do EVERYTHING! It certainly did that and more! New possibilities also brought with it new ailments, particularly the onset of cumulative stress disorders from sitting too long, and even clicking the mouse too long! Carpal tunnel syndromes emerged, postural stress disorders became commonplace, and tendinitis of the mouse hand became a regular part of the working person’s disorder over time. Neck and back stress from leaning into the monitor became prominent for the working adult’s posture, and shortened hip flexor muscles often caused dysfunction and pain to the lower back. In short, sitting too long cascaded into many unhealthy effects on posture, eating choices, and overuse syndromes.
Today, our mobile devices and tablets have taken over the PC as the most commonly used technology device for adults AND children! Here are some interesting facts regarding children and technology:
98% of American households with children from 0-8 years have mobile devices.
38% of children under 2 years use mobile devices for media.
60% of families have provided a cellphone to their child did so between the ages of 10 and 11.
20% provided their 8 to 9 year olds with a cellphone.
On average, children are 12.1 years old when they receive their first mobile device.
Children under 8 spend an average of2hrs 19mindaily on technology devices
The above stats apply to my household, for better or for worse! Many children are connected to the digital world, and even toddlers are familiar with screen gestures like tapping and swiping. Children spend longer periods of time now on their devices due to expanded access, from 43 min/day in 2011 to over 2hrs in 2017. Along with the good, is the bad…
Exposure to tech devices can encourage loss of physical activity time.
Children can have a headstart on cumulative stress and spinal disorders from the exaggerated head and neck positions while using devices.By the time they are 18, they can potentially have the equivalent of 10 years of on-the-job posture stress that adults typically develop at their workstations.
Overstimulation from bright lights, blue light, and mental activity before bed.
Dependency on information and constant status updates.
Dysfunctional penmanship from typing and swiping.
Inability to sit still and be in present time
Eye and neck strain
Our tech devices are here to stay, along with their associated ailments. Let’s try to control them (I mean our devices...perhaps our children too!) before they control us.
Dr. Adrian is an educator and private practice Doctor of Chiropractic, serving South Pasadena since 2000.