Damaging Effects of Mobile Devices on Children’s Posture

Shane Mezger
Shane Mezger

Damaging Effects of Mobile Devices on Children’s Posture

The widespread use of tablets and mobile devices has revolutionized the way we access information and communicate with one another. While these devices offer numerous benefits, they can also have detrimental effects on children’s posture, leading to musculoskeletal issues and long-term health consequences. I will explore the impact of tablets and mobile devices on children’s posture and provide practical tips for parents to help their kids maintain proper body alignment.

The Impact on Children’s Posture

Tablets and mobile devices encourage prolonged periods of poor posture, as children typically hunch over, crane their necks, and round their shoulders while using these devices. This position, often referred to as “text neck” or “iPosture,” places excessive strain on the neck, back, and shoulders, leading to several health issues:

Neck and Shoulder Pain: Constantly tilting the head forward to look at a screen places significant stress on the neck and shoulder muscles. Over time, this can result in muscle tension, discomfort, and even chronic pain.

Spinal Misalignment: Prolonged slouching and forward head posture can lead to spinal misalignment, causing a range of issues such as disc degeneration, nerve compression, and early-onset arthritis. What I commonly find in children is that they have pain and tenderness in the upper back region when pressure is applied to the spine. 

Weakened Muscles: Poor posture resulting from tablet and mobile device use weakens the muscles responsible for maintaining proper spinal alignment. This can be seen with a forward rounding of the shoulders. This can lead to muscle imbalances and further exacerbate posture problems. 

Breathing Difficulties: Hunching over a device can constrict the chest cavity and diaphragm, leading to shallow breathing and reduced oxygen intake. This may result in fatigue and impaired cognitive function.

Tips for Parents: Promoting Healthy Posture

To minimize the damaging effects of tablets and mobile devices on children’s posture, parents can implement the following strategies:

Encourage Breaks: Encourage your child to take regular breaks from their device every 20-30 minutes. This will help to alleviate muscle tension and promote better posture.

Monitor Screen Time: Set limits on the amount of time your child spends using tablets and mobile devices. Encourage them to engage in physical activities and hobbies that promote movement and muscle strength.

Teach Proper Posture: Teach your child the importance of maintaining proper posture while using their devices. Encourage them to sit up straight, keep their shoulders back, and hold the device at eye level to minimize neck strain.

Use Ergonomic Accessories: Consider investing in ergonomic accessories such as tablet stands, adjustable chairs, or supportive cushions to help your child maintain proper posture while using their devices.

Strengthen Core Muscles: Encourage your child to engage in activities that strengthen their core muscles, such as swimming, yoga, or Pilates. A strong core supports spinal alignment and reduces the risk of posture-related issues.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, have them checked by a qualified chiropractor. Routine chiropractic care has been shown to improve posture and restore motion to stuck and damaged joints. My family and children regularly receive routine chiropractic care for the benefit of maintaining a healthly spine and nervous system. 

 

Conclusion

While tablets and mobile devices provide numerous educational and entertainment benefits, it is crucial to be aware of their potential impact on children’s posture. By monitoring screen time, teaching proper posture, and encouraging physical activity, being checked by a chiropractor, parents can help their children maintain healthy body alignment and reduce the risk of long-term health issues associated with poor posture.

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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page, are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this page is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of the benefits of chiropractic care. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.

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