Gameplay? Keep Joint Pain at Bay
By Krista Elliott
Growing up, our parents bemoaned the amount of time we spent inside watching TV, urging us to get outside in the fresh air. They fretted for our eyes, health, and posture. And of course, we now know that they were right, and that we would have been better off playing outside than watching the tube.
The chickens have now come home to roost, and our kids are even more plugged in than we were, with game consoles, tablets, and smartphones. And somehow, they still manage to watch even more TV than we did.
While electronic entertainment might allow frazzled parents to get dinner ready on time or shower in peace, there comes a price. Kids today are more sedentary than in previous generations, putting them at risk for obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other conditions that are more typically seen in older adults.
All this screen time can also put them at risk for back problems, neck strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches. If you have a kid who has a game console or device, go take a look at their posture when they're using it. Not pretty, is it? Sitting hunched over for long periods of time, tensing their muscles, making repetitive movements with the wrists and hands, and staring at a screen for hours all contribute to muscle strains and painful subluxations.
Social Media, Save Points, and Subluxations
While it may not be realistic to stop your kids from playing video games, socializing on-line, or watching TV altogether (not unless you want World War III on your hands), here are a few tips:
- Set up a comfortable place for them to park themselves. A comfortable and supportive chair is much better for the back and joints than sitting on the floor or the bed.
- If seated at a desk to use their computer, have them use a keyboard tray, or sit so that their elbows are at a 90 degree angle when using the keyboard and mouse. If they use a laptop, a separate screen for home use will allow them to have the screen at eye level and their neck in a neutral position.
- Limit screen time, or at least make them take breaks periodically. Bring them and the dog to the park together, or invite them golfing or biking. Setting an example by showing them plenty of screen-free ways to have fun will be good for both of you.
- Remind them about their posture. If you catch them all hunched over, whether they're sitting or standing, call them on it. Modeling good posture yourself helps your cause.
- And last but definitely not least, regular chiropractic care from the experts at The Joint will not only get your kids away from their screens for a little while, but will also go a long way toward ensuring that your child's frame is optimally aligned. And during these years of rapid growth, it's crucial to ensure that no subluxations are derailing your child's musculoskeletal system.
So hit "save" on your child's joint health and pop by any of The Joint's 350-plus locations today! With extended evening and weekend hours, it's easy to press play.