Excess mobile device usage

Can Too Much Screen Time Affect Your Kids’ Posture?

by Screen Time Team on 24/01/2018
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When children use mobile devices, they often gravitate toward positions that are bad for their backs.

What are Mobile Devices Doing to Your Child’s Back?

When your child tilts their head forward because they’re bent over a phone or tablet, the angle of the head puts additional strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. They also tend to round their shoulders forward, which creates additional wear on the back and the upper part of the spine.

When children spend an extended amount of time in these positions, they can start to experience pain. Researchers have noted that doctors are seeing an increase in children coming in for treatments for back and neck pain, and that increase seems to correlate with the increase in mobile device use. What’s more, poor posture tends to breed more poor posture. In other words, if your child is slouching or hunching over a device, they may also be doing it when they’re sitting in class or at the dinner table. Poor posture can quickly become a habit.

What Are The Long-Term Effects?

When children develop a bad posture habit, the effects can be long-lasting. Back and neck pain is only one aspect of the problem. Poor posture can also cause the spinal cord to change shape, which can create chronic pain and affect balance.

Poor posture also has an effect on the rest of the body. Sitting for extended periods of time with poor posture compresses the digestive organs, which has a negative effect on the digestive system. Bad posture is also associated with varicose veins and an elevated risk of heart disease.

What Can You Do?

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Screen Time can help to limit the risk of posture problems

Making some changes to the way your child uses their mobile devices can help decrease their risk of developing poor posture and the problems that go along with it. Avoid allowing your child to use their tablet or phone on the bed or while laying on the couch. Instead, have them sit up straight. Invest in a holder for the device that allows your child to use it without hunching over. Be a good example and model the behaviors you want to see in your children.

Teach your kids to stop and stretch their arms above their heads regularly. This can help them reset their posture. Encourage your child to take frequent exercise breaks away from the digital devices as well. Breaking up the amount of time your child spends on their device will help prevent extended periods of slouching or hunching. Parental control apps can be ideal for this.

Parental control apps can help by allowing you to schedule alerts and time limits to remind your child to stretch or take a break from their device. To find out how parental control software can work for your family, try it for free.

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