Smartphones: more and more back problems

How much time do kids spend with their eyes glued to a mobile phone or tablet? What does this mean for their backs? Normal worries for an apprehensive mother, but nowadays they are also echoed by specialists in the field, who are sounding the alarm for children’s health.

Recent sources (ISTAT data) confirm that over 300,000 young people (up to the age of 25) suffer from neck and back problems due to smartphone addiction. Cases of kyphosis (curvature of the upper spine in an antero-posterior direction and anterior concavity) have increased dramatically in recent years (we are talking about 700%) and this is due to the increasing use of devices.
In the past, too heavy backpacks (often carried on one shoulder, incorrectly) were mostly to blame for poor posture. Today, one must add to this the massive use of mobile phones and tablets. Inordinate use that accentuates the presence of scoliosis (especially in females, although the reasons for this imbalance are still being investigated by scholars, it is thought to be developmental hormonal factors) and worsens its course.

But what are the main problems that occur?

Bending the neck makes the head weigh as much as six times more, since the use of devices often forces us to keep the head bent forward, in a position that is not entirely natural, with a 45° flexion of the cervical spine, a factor that also affects the spinal column. Even small flexions can increase the load on the spine exponentially, with all that this entails (lumbago and kyphosis).

How much time should be spent using mobile phones and tablets?

Obviously, if the excessive use of devices can cause all these problems, the question arises: what is the right amount of time to use them? The answer at the moment seems not to coincide with our normal rhythms of life (and of mobile phone use), as we should not spend more than an hour a day with our eyes on our smartphone. One hour, yes. It seems very little, but these are limits dictated by our body, by our health.

What to do when muscle pain and discomfort arise?

The advice is always the same: consult a specialist, because you cannot and should never improvise anything when your health is at stake, especially the health of your children. And the second piece of advice is to move in good time. Don’t wait, don’t put it off until tomorrow. Today is the best day to solve your problems. Today.

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