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Ergonomists find kids too are at risk from repetitive strain injuries

Pain-Free Computers for Kids

Since our childhood we have been told by our parents to sit straight while eating and studying because poor body postures could lead to health problems. Likewise, with the coming up of computers and associating ourselves with keyboards, mouse and screen all the time has put various adults and teens life in danger because of their awkward sitting postures. A survey carried out on some 500 children has established that like adults teens are also contracting neck and back pains due to incorrect sitting posture while handling computer.

Now a day’s teenagers are spending a good of their time before the computers, thus putting all the strains on their bodies. A majority of today’s tech-savvy teens were operating their computer when they were at pre-K! Thus now-a-days the same youths are paying their price with bad health symptoms like eye strain, pain in fingers and neck cramps. According to Robin Mary Gillespie, if kids show the symptoms like that of adults while surfing the web for a longer period of time this could be the sign of disability.

The survey carried on 500 children in the age group of 12 to 18 who were the regular users of computers came across the symptoms of neck and shoulder pain. Most of the pain arising out of using computer mouse could be avoided by holding closely to the body. By using monitors also children are prone to neck problems. It is thus a good idea to lower the monitor so that the neck could be straight. According to Gillespie, laptop users should make use of external keyboard and mouse to control the distance between monitor screen and keyboard. Gillespie concluded by saying that finally we looked as to how the bending of hands leads to various problems like carpal tunnel syndrome. In an effort to protect oneself from getting injury it is suggested to type with your hands as flat as possible taking rest in between.

This study was the result of kids having started developing eye strain, neck stiffness and carpal tunnel after using computers on a regular basis, just like the office workers. Of all these injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome is most common and affects wrist and hands of a computer user. Its symptoms include numbness in the hands and fingers, loss of strength and coordination in a user’s hands. Various back injuries are also the result of bad sitting postures.

In an effort to reduce these injuries it is suggested to raise or lower chairs to refrain from typing with your wrists. Place the keyboard at a slightly lower level from the normal desk height. Use a footrest to give relief to your legs. Ensure your elbows should form a 90 degree angle while hanging at the sides. Avoid glare from the computer monitor and take frequent breaks from your work.

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