The harmful effects of gaming on your kid’s bodies

Wherever you look, there is an article reminding us of how electronics have taken over our kid’s worlds and they’ve forgotten how to play. We also know that it’s our job as parents to make sure our kids get the right amount of exercise. Many of our clients have told us how a cubby house has literally moved their kids from being plugged-in permanently indoors, to enjoying the great outdoors in their cubby house. So we know that a cubby house is a kid’s magnet and it will get them outside, but we’ve also looked at some of the harm gaming can do to your kids health. The simple fact of the matter is that electronics are here to stay, we can’t get away from that fact, so we’ve also given you some hints on managing this phenomenon that has literally taken over our kid’s lives.

First let’s take a look at the harmful effects of gaming on your kid’s bodies, you may be a bit surprised about this!

The very nature of gaming means kids spend ages sitting in a stationary position for a while and while they’re playing they’re not exactly sitting upright, their posture is poor. This actually causes an imbalance between muscles which can’t hold the joints in place. This puts a huge amount of strain on the soft tissue and joints, which means they become inflamed and start to hurt. Ever had your child complaining of a sore back or similar? Well if they play lots of games that could be your answer. Even more alarming is the fact that bones could fuse in the wrong position, which can cause curvature of the spine later on.

Also if you watch your kids playing they’re performing repetitive movements of the hands and thumbs all the time; this can cause repetitive strain injury. This is shocking – these types of injuries in young kids…it is just not right! These injuries believe it or not have their own names like “Game-boy back”, “Nintendonitis” and “Playstation thumb.”

Repetitive strain injuries are as the name suggests caused by repetitive movements and are often found in fingers, hands, arms, shoulders and necks. Another injury that can be caused in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which is where there is pressure on a nerve in the wrist and cause numbness, pain or even loss of movement.

These injuries can cause substantial problems over time as your kid’s will carry these right through to adulthood where they can experience back, neck and shoulder problems.

These facts are rather sobering, but we can’t ignore the fact that electronic gaming is here and we’ve got some tips to try and avoid any of these problems.

• Let them earn screen time through exercise. A great way to do this is to have a cubby house in your backyard; it doesn’t put pressure on your kids to do exercise, they will naturally gravitate to their cubby house and get their daily dose of exercise in.
• When they are gaming, encourage good posture like sitting at tables or desks.
• Get them to lie on their tummies and prop themselves up on their elbows while playing as this actually helps develop the arm, shoulder, back and neck muscles.
• Make sure they have regular breaks and get them to go outside and play on their cubby house.
• Stretch hands and fingers:
o Make a fist, hold and release, pushing the fingers out
o Grip and release a stress ball a couple of times with each hand
o Place the hand, palm down on a table. Lift and drop the fingers at the same time.
• Stretch shoulders, neck and back
o Roll shoulders backwards and then forwards
o Stand straight with legs slightly apart; stretch an arm up and over their head, while bending the spine sideways. Do the same with the other arm.
o Roll the neck from side to side slowly, first with your neck tilted forward and then backward

As we mentioned before, gaming is here, and it’s here to stay, these are just some tips to try and manage the frequency as well and how to encourage them to exercise and avoid injuries. A cubby house is the perfect way to motivate them to get off the couch and head on outdoors.

Here are some cubby houses which can be just the temptation they need

The Explorer Pack Cubby House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panda Pack Kids Gym

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timberwolf Cubby House

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