The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.
Thanks to the popularization of smartphones and tablets, and the multiplication of video channels, computer games and educational apps, children and adolescents are spending more and more time looking at screens, usually with bad posture, which can cause back pain, among other problems.
A study by Brazilian researchers reported in an article published in Healthcare identified several risk factors for spinal health, such as looking at screens for more than three hours a day, proximity of the eyes to the screen, and sitting or lying on the stomach.
The study focused on thoracic spine pain (TSP). The thoracic spine is located at the back of the chest (the thorax), mostly between the shoulder blades, extending from the bottom of the neck to the start of the lumbar spine. The data analyzed came from surveys of 14- to 18-year-old male and female students in the first and second years of high school in Bauru, a medium-sized city in São Paulo state.
TSP is common in different age groups of the general population worldwide, with prevalence ranging from 15%-35% in adults and 13%-35% in children and adolescents. Explosive growth in the use of electronic devices during the COVID-19 pandemic clearly made the problem worse
The risk factors associated with TSP are physical, physiological, psychological and behavioral, according to several investigations. There is also strong evidence of the effects of physical activity, sedentary habits and mental disorders on spinal health.
Information on risk factors for TSP in high school students is important because children and adolescents with back pain are more inactive, achieve less academically and have more psychosocial problems, according to the study.