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  • Megan Thomas

    Sports & physio columnist

    Email Megan Thomas

    Top tips to manage problems and injuries our kids can suffer with technology use


    While the technological world can bring our next generation so many amazing advantages that we couldn’t get from our old box sets of encyclopaedias or once-a-week computer classes at school, the effect it can have on them physically can be very concerning for parents.

    Some of the impacts can include:

    • Strain to their necks
    • Poor posture through their upper backs
    • Overuse injuries to their fingers and thumbs
    • Increased weight gain
    • Lack of physical fitness due to inactivity

    So, what are some ways we can assist our younger generation in using these devices in a more musculoskeletal friendly way?

    TIP #1

    You could make them lie down on their backs to use their phones and tablets like iPads, because arms ‘whinge’ a lot quicker than necks and backs when they are being placed under a load that stresses them. A clever way to approach this is to tell your kids they’re not allowed to sit up or roll over, otherwise the device is taken off them.

    TIP #2

    Another tip is to stick a magnet to the back of the device and stick it onto the fridge so they have to stand up to use it.

    TIP #3

    If you child has a bunk bed, use elastic straps to hold their tablet device to the underneath of the top bunk so they can lie flat on their backs and watch a TV show.

    TIP #4

    Make your child do a wall squat hold while they reply to text messages to their friends. They can use their phone for as long as they hold the squats for!

    TIP #5

    Only let them use the phone while they are standing in with their heels hanging off the back of a step stretching their calves, or on an air cushion device so they have to balance to stay there. It’s very difficult to have poor posture in these situations.

    TIP #6

    If they’re using a tablet device, step it up ergonomically on a desk in their room or home study with a separate mouse and keyboard and make it a better device for them to be on.

    TIP #7

    Remember how we use to have to do our homework before we could go out and play? Well, try reversing the deal. If they want to use their devices, they must play outside first for 30 minutes or go for a run, swim in the pool, or do an exercise class before they can do their homework or use their devices.

    TIP #8

    They love IT – so be very cunning and give them another device… some sort of activity or exercise counter such as a pedometer or an Apple or Garmin watch. Your child has to have done “x” amount of steps or exercise counted on the device before they get their phone or tablet that evening.

    IN SUMMARY

    The world of IT is central to the future of our next generation. Technology will dominate their world so if one of the big things we don’t like about it is the physical effects it has on them, let’s change it because we won’t change the influence of IT on their lives.

    MORE: phyxmephysiocairns.com.au