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Children Addicted to TV Run Greater Risk of Spinal Complications

An article in the November 8, 2004 edition of the "Daily Record" from Glasgow in the United Kingdom, reports on a study demonstrating that children that watch TV for large intervals are more inclined to experience spinal problems and pain.

The research done by the British Chiropractic Association, studied 200 secondary school aged children. They discovered that boys wasted an average of 41 hours in front of the TV (or video game) per week, while girls spent only 21 hours. The article says that 1 / 4 of them are lying down with their heads up putting additional tension on the neck and upper back areas. The article also says that heavy backpacks appear to additionally play a role in the issue.

The article describes that the additional time in a non-active position doesn't enable the spine to strengthen during the years of development, which usually last up until close to age 18. Dr. Chris Turner, a chiropractor in West London, said: "The major factors in children's back problems are a more sedentary way of life and lack of exercise." He continued, "This means their muscles do not work very well and leads to strains when they are used, especially for carrying relatively heavy weights, including school bags."

The study also observed that 44% of children with school bags do not use both straps and instead carry the bags unevenly with only one strap. Dr. Scott Miller, the chiropractor who led the research, explained by saying: "Children's bones are soft up to the age of 18. Discs in the spine are stronger than the bones and so deform if you keep carrying weight on one side." He added, "Because many children lead sedentary lives, the bones aren't getting the exercise they need to get strong. Then they are subjected to the horrendous weight of school bags, so the spine distorts."

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