As the father of a 4 year old daughter I am concerned about how she spends her time. And could any of these activities lead to known health problems...or even worse...health problems we don't even know about yet? That's kind of the way it works isn't it? We find out after the fact that something we have been doing day in and day out is bad for us. But a lot of it is common sense.
Anyway....according to the article in USA Today (1/20/2010, front page), children between the ages of 8-18 are spending an average of 53 hours per week engaged with digital media (mostly TV), such as computers, iPods, cell-phones, video games, etc.
Kids these days spend so much time with electronic media — cellphones, iPods, video games and computers — that it might as well be a full-time job: more than 53 hours a week, a study finds.
Compared with peers a decade ago, young people spend 79 more minutes of free time each day listening to music, watching TV and movies, playing video games and hanging out online. Nearly twice as many now say they do at least two of these at the same time.
The findings, out today in a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 2,002 people ages 8 to 18, show that young people spend seven hours and 38 minutes using media in a typical day — up from six hours and 19 minutes a decade earlier.
About the only thing that seems to be fading: ink. Though daily book readership has held steady at about 47% since 1999, the percentage of young people who say they read a magazine every day has plummeted from 55% to 35%. It's worse for newspapers, down from 42% to 23%.
All sorts of potential problems come to mind...including the potential connection between cell phones and cancer. The most obvious potential problem...and one that I have been dealing with for years in my San Francisco Chiropractic clinics is Forward Head Posture (FHP) and Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI).
In fact, a reporter from the New York Times contacted me last week because he was in the process of putting together a feature story on the relationship between modern technology and RSI in children. He wanted to know if research existed that could validate what doctors and medical personal are reporting as far as an increased incidence of RSI/CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome), and FHP in children. I told him I was not aware of any formal research and put him in touch with some of the chiropractic researchers that I know that may be able to help. My research is done at my clinic and by observing people.
Heck...all you have to do is look at kids posture these days to see that Forward Head Posture (FHP) is a big problem. After-all, the body will adapt to it's external environment. If the external environment is being hunched over all day (especially during the growth spurts), then FHP will develop...it's that simple.
It's the repetition of FHP movements combined with poor ergonomic postures that cause the body to adapt. FHP can lead to all sorts of health problems including headaches, neck pain, back pain, allergies, and arthritis...to name a few. And the thing is...it's easily preventable with exercises, chiropractic care, and ergonomic instruction. Well...maybe not so easy because we are dealing with kids. But it is preventable and correctable and your chiropractor can help.
In fact, at Executive Express Chiropractic, January 2010 is Posture Awareness Month. You can bring in your kids for Free and we will check them for FHP, scoliosis, CTS, and RSI. Most of the problems adults present with most likely could have been prevented if they would have had chiropractic care when they were younger (in my opinion). And kids are easy to treat. They respond quick, don't need a lot of treatment, it's safe, and they look forward to the treatment (after they get used to it anyway).
So sure, we need to be concerned about electromagnetic fields from all these electronic devices...and the fact that none of these activities typically involve exercise...and the things we don't even know about yet. But we know about how these activities effect posture...and it happens quick...so the time to have your kids checked is NOW.
To schedule a complimentary posture exam for yourself or your kids at Executive Express Chiropractic...call 415-392-2225. Or check out our Posture Awareness Month promo page to schedule online.