We’ve heard about the detriments of kids excessively gaming such as eye strain and lack of exercise, but research also points the finger at gaming as a cause of joint pain among young kids. In a study led by Yusuf Yazici, a professor of rheumatology at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases in NY, researchers found that just two hours of gaming or texting each day can cause joint problems, wrist and finger pain. The younger the child, the more risk involved and pain experienced.
Yazici and his team looked at 257 students in the St. Louis area and found that gaming devices like the Xbox and Gameboy resulted in kids feeling more pain than they did using mobile phones. And that with every hour of play, the odds of reporting pain increased.
In a press release about the study, Yazici states, “Our study has shown the negative impact that playing computer games and using mobile phones can have on the joints of young children, raising concerns about the health impact of modern technology later in life. We hope that further research in this area will shed light on what could be a serious health concern for today's gaming children, in later life.”
Like any other form of media entertainment – TV, computer, smartphone, etc. – gaming in the house should have restrictions and guidelines for kids of all ages. It’s best to stick with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation of one hour of gaming a day maximum. The last thing we need is for doctors to start diagnosing our young Xbox-obsessed kids with ‘juvenile gaming arthritis.’
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