We know that handheld devices are brand new in the history of mankind, and researchers don't yet have enough data to say definitively what impact our use of these technologies will have on our longterm health. But the evidence is beginning to mount up.
We already know that sitting and slouching is common with handheld device use. This slouching has given rise to the condition named "text neck" and causes neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, and headaches.
We know that increased handheld device time is causing more nearsightedness.
We know that increased screen time promotes a sedentary lifestyle, which in turn promotes the development of obesity.
And so on.
Last week a Huffington Post article made controversial headlines because of a bold claim that children under 12 should never use handheld devices. Ever. And the author of the article didn't even mention text neck! Here's a quick excerpt.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I'm calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years.
The author of this article, Cris Rowan, goes on to list ten research-based reasons why screen time is detrimental to childhood development, including sleep deprivation, mental illness, and so-called "digital dementia" including attention deficit disorder and the inability to think deeply.
In case her argument doesn't seem strong enough, she also has a Fact Sheet available which is, well, impressively exhaustive. I encourage everyone with children to check out the research and to form your own conclusions.
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
All images used are under Creative Commons license.
Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate description of our chiropractic care and its benefits, the information given on this website and blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, medical advice for any condition.
If you have any questions regarding your condition, you should seek the help of Dr. Johnson in person, so that he may properly assess your condition.
This blog is provided by Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, S.C., proudly located in Peoria, IL.