Due to the increase in the use of devices such as computers, tablets and even mobile phones, the appearance of the computer syndrome in children and in people who spend several hours a day using them. Do you really know what it is, its symptoms and its causes? And, most importantly, do you know how to prevent it?
Internet addiction is a fairly new and common phenomenon among children and teens today. A practice that generates obsessive compulsive disorder that significantly influences their behavior and that has consequences in different body systems, causing discomfort in the musculoskeletal system such as headache, neck, shoulder, elbow or hand, back or lumbar pain, contractures, tendinitis, overloads or disc problems, among others.
Alterations have also been discovered in the ocular system (blurred vision, double vision, eye pain, tearing, visual fatigue, dry or irritated eye, itching, redness, sensitivity to light) or other varied ones such as nausea, vertigo or headache.
All these symptoms of computer syndrome They result in serious physical and psychological problems for children such as poor ergonomics in the place of play, study or work, weak postural muscles, physical problems, little rest, stress, eye problems or disorders in accommodation or convergence.
The big question many parents ask themselves is how to prevent computer syndrome, also know as display screen syndrome. In addition to trying to reduce the number of hours a day in front of any of these devices, it is important to take note of some tips:
1. Improve ergonomics
The head and neck will be straight. If we draw an imaginary line looking at the person sitting in profile, it must be straight from the ears, center of the shoulder, elbow and hips. The eyes, meanwhile, should be about 50-70 cm from the screen, at the same height as the top or a little below, forming an angle of 20-30º with it. It will always face the front, never the side.
Use a good seat, better if it is ergonomic. The backrest should not be too high, better be flexible and with a slight curvature. The column should be straight resting on the backrest. The height must be adjustable so that we can support our feet well on the ground, and ensure that the thighs are parallel to it. We must leave enough space between the edge of the seat and the posterior-inferior aspect of the thigh, to avoid pressing the glasses.
The hips will form a 90º angle with the back. The legs should be slightly open, forming a 90º angle between the hips and the knees. The seat support must be swivel and stable with at least five wheels.
We will place the keyboard 10-15 cm from the edge of the table, and we will try to work keeping the elbows close to the body and at a right angle, resting the forearms on the table and with the shoulders relaxed. Forearm, wrist and hand should be in a straight line, avoiding bending the wrists and placing them on the edge of the desk. The wider the keyboard, the more it forces you to do unnecessary repetitive movements. It is advisable to use a palm rest and avoid twitching the wrist when clicking with the mouse.
The mouse will be close to the keyboard, trying to maintain an axis that passes through the third finger and the center of the forearm, leaving the wrist relaxed in a neutral position (with a slight extension and semiflexion of the fingers) and with these perpendicular to the keyboard.
We must avoid talking on the phone by fitting it between the shoulder and the ear while working with the computer. This position puts a lot of strain on the neck and shoulders. If we need it, opt for a hands-free. It is also not good to do half turns, it is better to turn the body completely.
2. Monitor the environment in which we find ourselves
It is very important that the room where the child is located has an adequate degree of humidity, is properly ventilated and the light is correct (which does not fall directly on him and is not very intense).
3. Take breaks
We should not be more than two hours without moving. It is necessary to stop even 5 min every hour. We can take the opportunity to drink water, to go to the bathroom, to do movements of the wrists, shoulders and some stretching of the back, chest or neck.
Tear production has been shown to be lower in people who work in front of a screen, causing more dryness. It also reduces the frequency of blinking and increases the opening of the eyelids, thereby increasing tear evaporation and dryness, which can cause itching, burning or a sensation of grit. This also happens if the screen is higher than the gaze.
It is advisable from time to time to make glances without moving the head, in the distance in front, to one side and to the other, up and down. This helps prevent eye strain.
4. Avoid reflections
Anti-reflective filters can be used. The screens should not be placed against the light or in front of a window, as it continually forces you to adjust the opening and closing of the eye. Use adequate lighting, preferably indirect.
4. Visit the physiotherapist and ophthalmologist
Both professionals will be able to guide you and help you feel better. The physiotherapist can help you improve your posture and the ophthalmologist to control if there are any vision problems.
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