Our grandparents and parents may not be used to it, but more and more classrooms in the USA are now equipped with computers and kids are embracing this technology full force. Most kids now even have a computer in their bedroom. A new study reveals that teenagers who use the computer for long term have an increased incidence of neck pain.
This study, published in the journal, Cephalalgia, took place in Western Cape, South Africa among students grade 10 to 12. The study showed that there was a rise in the report of neck pain as the kids were using their computers more and more.
Leonie Smith, a Physiotherapist and other Australian researchers were involved in this 2006 at Stellenbosch University in Tygerberg, South Africa. Smith and colleagues analyzed duration of computer use and reports of headache and neck pain among 1073 students (65 percent girls), who were 16 years old on average. Among these students 48% attended schools that use computers.
Of the students enrolled in schools with computer training, 43 percent used computers for 8.5 hours or more per week. The researchers noted similar duration of use in just 5.5 percent of the students enrolled in schools without computer training.
"No clear association could be found between high hours of computer use and the presence of headaches," said Smith, despite common reports of headache among the students, and particularly female students.
By contrast, neck pain was more common among students who also reported longer hours of computer use, regardless of computer availability at school.
For instance, among the students who spent 5 or fewer hours using a computer each week, about 16% reported neck pain. For students that used the computer for 25-30 hours a week, approximately 48% reported neck pain.
Smith's team of researches states that their findings "have confirmed the need to educate new computer users (school students) about appropriate ergonomics and postural health."
Parents used to concerned about their kids watching too much TV- well now they will also have to be worried about their kids using the computer too much! What will be next?
SOURCE: : Cephalalgia, February 2009.
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