Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are Computers a Health Risk to Children?

Posted by Sarah Sweetz Akhza at 10:55 PM
Are Computers a Health Risk to Children?

Computers have become an integral part of a child’s life, at home and at school. Research conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that children are spending as much time in front of a computer screen as they are outdoors. In addition, that number has tripled in the past decade. In 1999, children between the ages of 8 and 18 spent about 27 minutes a day on a computer.  In 2009, the estimate soared to one hour and 29 minutes. Computer usage is not purely an academic endeavor. Social networking and video gaming represent the majority of time that children spend in front of a computer screen. Moreover, while they may be gaining some knowledge, they are putting themselves at risk for a variety of health conditions. Nervous system disturbance, repetitive stress injury (RSI), neck and upper cervical subluxation, and electromagnetic radiation present some of the greatest concerns.

Poor ergonomics contribute to subluxation, as youngsters are hunched over a computer keyboard or leaning in toward the screen.

Improper positioning affects the back, shoulders, neck, arms, and wrists. Positioning the screen to be angled slightly below eye level and elevating the keyboard and mouse so that hands are in straight alignment with the forearms (so the wrists do not bend) will vastly improve posture. The chair should provide support for the back, so that the child is seated in an upright position without slouching. Feet should be able to touch the floor easily, and the knees should be level with the hips.RSIs are a common ailment of video games, frequently affecting the extensor tendon in the thumb.  Over-zealous players who hit the buttons too hard can exacerbate the problem. Children should also be encouraged to take frequent breaks so they can shake and flex their hands and arms.

If you have ever spent hours in front of a computer and walked away feeling tired and bleary eyed, you were probably experiencing the effects of electromagnetic radiation. The computer and iscomparable to low-level x-rays emit EMR. Excessive exposure to EMR creates a potential hazard for cancer, birth defects, and miscarriages. Symptoms include such nervous system disturbances as dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, dehydration, irritability, confusion, and fatigue. To reduce the risk of EMR, children should reduce the amount of time spent in front of the computer, sit farther from the screen, and use a computer ventilator or fan. In addition, a diet that is rich in vitamins A and C can reduce the risk of this harmful radiation. Advise computer lovers to increase their consumption of fruit and vegetables, particularly carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, and oranges.WWW.CHIROSPORTS.COM.AU | TEL. 02 9398 3699 | 166 CARRINGTON ROAD, COOGEE NSW 2034 | © CHIROSPORTS COOGEE PTY LTD Our bodies might not be keeping pace with the rapid increase of computer and electronics usage but we can still take steps to prevent unnecessary health risks.

About the Author

Felicity Young was inspired by chiropractic from an early age after her experience as a child suffering headaches. After her mother intuitively took her to a chiropractor who was able to treat and manage her symptoms, she recognized the power of chiropractic. Felicity has been an integral part of the Chirosports team for over four years in various capacities. In addition to six years of study at Macquarie University, she has completed extra studies in pediatrics and pregnancy care, acupuncture, neurology, extremities and sports injuries, and is a Registered Trigenics Practitioner ( Trigenics is a neurological treatment system which resets the way the brain communicateswith the body to relieve pain, increase movement and strengthen muscles).


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