During Chiropractic Awareness Week this year, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) are warning parents that their teenagers could be at risk of suffering from neck or back pain due to sedentary lifestyles and excessive use of technology.
New findings from the BCA reveal that more than 1 in 10 (12%) of people in Yorkshire and the Humber first started experiencing neck or back pain before they were 20 years old.
In the UK, 40% of 11-16 year olds have already suffered and worryingly, more than 1 in 7 (15%) of parents said their child’s neck or back pain is a result of using a laptop, tablet or computer.
The research revealed that almost three quarters (68%) of 11-16 year olds spend up to 4 hours a day on a laptop, tablet or computer and a staggering 73% spend up to 6 hours on the devices. More than a third of parents (38%) said their child spends up to 6 hours a day on their mobile.
The Back to Chiropractic clinic is also noticing a rise in the number of young people presenting with neck or back pain due to their lifestyle choices.
Today, I am encouraging parents to limit the time their children spend using technology and instead encourage more active pastimes over the Easter holidays.
Based on a 2 hour period, young people spend more time on games consoles (33%) than doing an activity like riding a bike (12%). When asked how much time their teenager spends on their bicycle, 1 in 5 (21%) parents admitted they don’t have one.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, nearly half (46%) of parents questioned acknowledged that their children don’t spend enough time exercising, despite NHS guidelines stating that children and young people between 5 and 18 years old need to do at least one hour of physical activity every day.
Young people are becoming increasingly sedentary which is damaging their posture. There is a tendency to sit in a hunched position when working on computers and laptops, putting a lot of strain on the neck and back.
Learning how to sit properly and keeping active will help to keep young people healthy and pain free. It’s important that parents seek help for their children from an expert as soon as any pain starts. If conditions are left untreated, it could lead to chronic neck or back pain in later life.
Parents read the following tips to help your teenagers reduce the risks of neck or back pain.