Computers and other gadgets are now necessities for daily life, regardless of one’s age. Adults normally use these tools for work and business while many teenagers and young children also make use of computers for school work. Of course, people from across different age groups also get a lot of their entertainment from computers, laptops, and many other handheld gadgets.
There are, however, four main reasons to apply proper time management in the use of gadgets for children. All of them are related to the potential health hazards of gadget over-use. Please continue reading more about these possible threats to children’s health:
One of the most common negative effects of computer over-use is sleeplessness. Children as young as two or three years old have been found to be vulnerable to the addictive stimulation from various types of gaming equipment.
Adults, on the other hand, also over-use these tools for many late nights at work or business-related coordination. As a result, they too, lose many hours of rest and sleep. It is not uncommon to hear of top entrepreneurs, established businessmen and women, and other people who use these tools to the max. After a while, they need a shop to repair personal digital assistant or PDA gadgets and other electronic equipment in the office. ; While built for long-term use, the equipment does have a lifespan and constant use can really lead to malfunctions and certain components are worn-out.
2. Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is a range of eye problems that include eye strain and discomfort. Its cause is the continued use of computers for several hours at a time. When using a computer or gadget, the eyes have to repeatedly focus and refocus that makes the eye muscles work extra hard. Computer use, especially for gaming, requires a constant shift of focus on objects on the screen and the eyes’ adjustment to various colors, shapes, contrasts, and flickering graphics. All these overwork the eyes and all the organs behind them. Some of the most common CVS symptoms include blurred vision, red eyes, double vision, neck pain, and headaches.
3. Hearing Damage
Many people, especially children and those who use computers in the office, experience some degrees of hearing loss. The hearing damage is most often caused by many long hours of use of computer headphones with the sound volume turned up to max. This is common among many computer games that spent hours every day playing games that have very high-frequency sound effects, causing small but cumulative damage to the eardrums. Some of the more serious cases could even lead to permanent hearing loss.
While studies on computer gaming and obesity have found no direct correlation, the extraordinarily long hours of time spent on such a hobby takes away from other more healthy activities such as exercise. In another research, it was determined that an average computer gamer spends at least seven hours playing his or her favorite game on a console, laptop, personal computer, or smartphone.
Because of their addiction, many gamers are also prone to becoming “shut-ins”, or persons who no longer leave their room or house because of excessive computer gaming. They subsist on junk food and spend almost the entire day and night in their game, losing precious time for sleep, eating, and rest. In fact, in one extreme case in Thailand, a 17-year old male teen and computer gaming addict was found dead inside his room due to a stroke. According to the gamer’s father who found the individual lifeless, they repeatedly warned their teenage son to control his addiction yet it ended in tragedy.
While the death of the teenager is an isolated incident, thousands of young people today are already considered computer gaming addicts. They risk long-term spine deformations, eye problems, and nutritional deficiencies aside from being prone to obesity. One can be obese yet severely malnourished due to poor food choices. There are many computer games that are considered more sedentary, that is, the gamer only needs to sit down and no other body movement is needed except for the hands and fingers that hold the game controller.
The Greatest Risk: Losing Relationships
Aside from the health risks associated directly and indirectly to excessive computer gaming, there is another silent threat that hands on the head of those with gaming addiction. In one report, children were found to spend at least 23 hours on their smartphone, an activity that takes more time than their actual engagement with their parents or guardians. Simply put, many children spend more time playing computer games that speaking to their father or mother and other members of the family. Losing relationships because of a hobby like excessive gaming is certainly one of the most devastating negative impacts of this addiction that has taken the world by storm.
But with proper guidance and healthy alternatives such as sports, music, or traditional art activities, teenagers and children can still enjoy their computer games while avoiding its perils. However, the adults must show the way since many parents and guardians are themselves have gadget fixations. Together, both adults and minors need to commit to pursuing healthier ways of finding leisure and entertainment.