When screen time becomes a pain

Jun 08, 2010

The amount of time teenagers spend in front of TV screens and monitors has been associated with physical complaints. A large study of more than 30,000 Nordic teenagers published in the open access journal BMC Public Health has shown that TV viewing, computer use and computer gaming (screen time) were consistently associated with back pain and recurrent headaches.

Torbjørn Torsheim, from the University of Bergen, Norway, worked with an international team of researchers to study the association between 'screen time' and head- or back-ache. He said, "A rising prevalence of physical complaints such as , neck and shoulder pain, and headache has been reported for adolescent populations. Parallel to this, adolescents are spending an increasing amount of time on screen-based activities, such as TV, computer games, or other types of computer based entertainment".

The researchers found that there was little interaction between specific types of screen-based activity and particular physical complaints, with the exception of headache in girls, which seemed to be particularly associated with computer use and but not gaming. Torsheim and his colleagues suggest this indicates that physical complaints are not related to the type of screen-based activity, but to the duration and ergonomic aspects of such activity. Speaking about the findings, Torsheim said, "The consistent but relatively weak magnitude of associations is in line with the interpretation that is a contributing factor, but not a primary causal factor, in headache and backache in the general population of Nordic school-aged teenagers."

Explore further: 'Tis the season to overeat

More information: Screen-based activities and physical complaints among adolescents from the Nordic countries, Torbjørn Torsheim, Lilly Eriksson, Christina W Schnohr, Fredrik Hansen, Thoroddur Bjarnason and Raili Välimaa, BMC Public Health (in press), www.biomedcentral.com/bmcpublichealth/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gadgets not related to teenagers' brain pain

Feb 08, 2010

Use of most electronic media is not associated with headaches, at least not in adolescents. A study of 1025 13-17 year olds, published in the open access journal BMC Neurology, found no association between the use of com ...

Americans spend eight hours a day on screens

Mar 27, 2009

Adult Americans spend an average of more than eight hours a day in front of screens -- televisions, computer monitors, cellphones or other devices, according to a new study.

Are poor workspace ergonomics causing radiologists pain?

May 03, 2010

A lack of attention to workspace ergonomics could be to blame for radiologists' musculoskeletal symptoms, including lower back pain, wrist pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and headaches, according to a study to be presented ...

Recommended for you

'Tis the season to overeat

Dec 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Overeating is common during the holidays, but there are strategies that can help you eat in moderation, an expert says.

Don't let burns mar your holidays

Dec 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—The risk of burns from fires and cooking accidents increases during the holidays, so you need to be extra cautious, an expert says.

Irish court mulls rights of dead woman vs. fetus

Dec 24, 2014

A lawyer representing a 17-week-old fetus living inside the clinically dead body of its mother told a Dublin court Wednesday that the unborn child's right to life trumps the woman's right to a dignified death.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.