Two Dutch surgeons are blaming handheld games consoles for a wave of eight to 18 year olds suffering from curvature of the spine. They're calling the condition 'Game Boy back'.
Surgeons Piet van Loon and Andre Soeterbroek stated in an article in Dutch medical magazine Medisch Contact
that the problem is caused by kids spending too long hunched over handheld gadgets.
You might think that naming the condition after a system released six years before today's 18 year olds were even born is a bit unfair. If you did, we'd be inclined to agree with you.
However, the doctors say the condition hasn't been a problem in children since they routinely performed intensive industrial labour a hundred years ago or more.
“In those days, kids got weak backs from child labour; now they’re getting it from these devices,” said Dr Soeterbroek. “It makes no difference to the body whether you’re hunched over in a cigar factory or spending eight hours over an iPad.”
It's not all to be blamed on handheld devices, though. "Attention to posture has almost disappeared the world over. That's an urgent message we want to send to parents, physical education teachers and family doctors: it's becoming accepted as normal that children and teenagers have bad posture," the doctors said.
Dr told the BBC
that, "All these youngsters are losing their flexibility but the good news is you can do a lot about it... If you maintain a good posture you won't develop the condition."
It's recommended that kids who do
spend lots of time hunched over handhelds lay on their fronts, propped on their elbows to counter the problem.
Main source: Irish Times