Does your child spend more than an hour a day on computer games? Do they complain of a sore neck or back? New evidence has shown that the number of children complaining of neck pain has significantly increased in recent years and this appears to be associated with poor posture when playing computer games.
Prolonged sitting in a flexed position can lead to to muscle tightness and weakness resulting in neck pain and referred pain in the arms which children may describe as tingling. It is important that children correct their posture from an early age to prevent problems when they are older. Good posture requires a combination of good muscle control, strength and psychosocial issues such as self-confidence. Physiotherapy can provide a strengthening programme to target the abdominal and back muscles.
Tips for good posture:
- Ensure that chairs and desks are the appropriate size and height for your child.
- Ensure school backpacks are worn over both shoulders and that heavier items are packed close to the child’s back.
- Limit television and computer time.
- Encourage regular walking, moving and stretching breaks when sitting for prolonged periods at the computer, doing homework, watching TV or playing video games.
- Encourage your child to be physically active and involved in regular exercise.