The Ergonomics of Computer Gaming

By gildalit

childrens ergonomic
More and more doctors recommend that you use the Wii gaming console as a tool for physical exercise  and up keep of a healthy lifestyle.
Does this idea have merits? I’m not so sure.
In many homes today, computers and televisions are used as the parents babysitter and lifesaver. When kids get bored, it is just too easy to tell them to go watch TV or play on the computer.
On the other hand, many parents are becoming aware of the physical deterioration caused by prolonged sitting in front of a computer or television and their conscience is working overtime!
However, recently it seemed a solution to this quandary has been found. Parents talk about it enthusiastically  – “I bought the kids a Wii console and we are really pleased, it’s a win win situation – the kids are absorbed into this new activity and are busy and quiet, plus they’re actually physically active in a way even doctors recommend”.
I, for one, did not buy my children the Wii, and surprisingly, they’ve never asked me to do so.
The truth to be told is that my children love real life activity, like riding a bike outside, playing tennis on a real tennis court, they enjoy basketball and soccer, playing catch with their friends… generally, they prefer being outside rather than inside the house.
In my opinion, children playing Wii get too used to the convenience of home, to the sweetened drinks and sweets accompanying play time. They lose the ability to orient themselves in space, they lose range of motion, physical interaction and physical contact gained in playing with other children. They miss out on learning and improving the different timing perception of ball delivery, kick, and body balance acquired when playing outside, and suffer a loss of the sensory capability acquired outside the home. Yes, even the ability of dealing with the elements and some inclement weather is lost to them.
I agree that there are some health benefits to playing Wii but they can not be at all compared favorably to games held in the open, fresh air outside. In fact, the most dangerous thing is that those games become a permanent substitute for real life active games and supply us parents with the illusion that we can, in good conscience, allow our children to sit at the computer again.

More and more doctors recommend that you use the Wii gaming console as a tool for physical exercise  and up keep of a healthy lifestyle.Does this idea have merits? I’m not so sure.In many homes today, computers and televisions are used as the parents babysitter and lifesaver. When kids get bored, it is just too easy to tell them to go watch TV or play on the computer.On the other hand, many parents are becoming aware of the physical deterioration caused by prolonged sitting in front of a computer or television and their conscience is working overtime!However, recently it seemed a solution to this quandary has been found. Parents talk about it enthusiastically  – “I bought the kids a Wii console and we are really pleased, it’s a win win situation – the kids are absorbed into this new activity and are busy and quiet, plus they’re actually physically active in a way even doctors recommend”.I, for one, did not buy my children the Wii, and surprisingly, they’ve never asked me to do so.The truth to be told is that my children love real life activity, like riding a bike outside, playing tennis on a real tennis court, they enjoy basketball and soccer, playing catch with their friends… generally, they prefer being outside rather than inside the house.In my opinion, children playing Wii get too used to the convenience of home, to the sweetened drinks and sweets accompanying play time. They lose the ability to orient themselves in space, they lose range of motion, physical interaction and physical contact gained in playing with other children. They miss out on learning and improving the different timing perception of ball delivery, kick, and body balance acquired when playing outside, and suffer a loss of the sensory capability acquired outside the home. Yes, even the ability of dealing with the elements and some inclement weather is lost to them.
I agree that there are some health benefits to playing Wii but they can not be at all compared favorably to games held in the open, fresh air outside. In fact, the most dangerous thing is that those games become a permanent substitute for real life active games and supply us parents with the illusion that we can, in good conscience, allow our children to sit at the computer again.

Ergonomics – A Child’s play?

By gildalit

ergonomics for children

kids ergonomics

More and more studies reveal an increase in the number of children and teenagers suffering from a stiff neck as well as shoulder, wrist and lower back pains.

Kids today spend long hours in front of computers. If they’re not typing school homework, they are playing, reading, surfing or chatting with other kids sitting somewhere in front of another computer (sometimes in the same house or even in the same room!). Our world is swamped by computer culture, and our children swim in it quite comfortably.

We as parents, encourage them to develop their computer literacy and skills, being extremely aware of the world’s current state of affairs, which makes it imperative for its young citizens to master and be comfortable in computerized environments. But we have another basic and unavoidable duty towards our children: their health.

Long computer sessions entail physical and mental health risks, which can be easily avoided using ergonomics.

Working with a computer can cause a phenomenon called RSI – Repetitive Strain Injuries.

Those start as a slight inconvenience but can later develop into a chronic problem.

Here are some data, according to studies published lately on ergonomics for children:  If you’re a parent, you should read this!

  1. Children aged 6-17 spend an average of 10 hours a day (!!!) sitting in front of a television or computer screen, sitting at school or engaged in other sedentary activities.
  2. Orthopedics report an increase in skeletal muscle complaints among school children as a result of prolonged sitting sessions in front of computer stations that are not adjusted to their specific needs.
  3. Kids today might suffer from neck pains resulting from incorrect height and distance of screens positioning.
  4. Damage to tendons and ligaments as a result of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injuries), is increasing constantly due to the usage of unsuitable mice and keyboards.
  5. Back pain, scoliosis and problems with the blood flow to the legs have become more and more common among children, as a result of inadequate sitting postures and usage of chairs unadjusted to their size.
  6. Children and parents alike are largely unaware of the dangers inherent in computerized environments!

In the modern technological world of today, more and more children must and do choose a working in front of a computer. These computerized environments will accompany our children throughout their lifetime, and it doesn’t seem they are going to disappear any time soon. On the contrary, computer culture is growing and developing fast, conquering more and more areas of our lives. Therefore, we as parents must make sure that our children learn and be computer literate. But simultaneously, we must also give them the ergonomic guidance and tools that will improve their quality of life, health and welfare.
Despite data showing a direct relation between orthopedic injuries and computer usage among children, very little attention is devoted to maintaining ergonomic principles at the computer work station at home.

Parents, this is your responsibility!

categoriaergonomics for childrens commento6 Comments dataDecember 21st, 2009
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