Students are using laptop computers more in the classroom and in their free time to stay connected, but there are consequences: musculoskeletal discomfort ie. neck, back and shoulder pain.
According to a new study conducted by researchers at Boston University into laptop use and discomfort levels (published in the journal Ergonomics) more than 50% of university students said they already experienced pain attributed to the computer. A shocking one in seven said they experienced pain after working on a computer for just one hour.
‘Computer-related discomfort in childhood and adolescence is of particular concern as the musculoskeletal system and posture are still developing,’ said Karen Jacobs, the study’s lead author and an occupational therapist at Boston University.
‘Young children worldwide are starting to complain now more than ever of musculoskeletal discomfort… As kids embrace technology at a very young age, parents need to not only monitor technology use but instill best-practices so they are stretching and exercising certain muscles to prevent physical problems in the future,’ said Jacobs, who is also the former President of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and current Chair of Ergonomics for Children and Educational Environment.