Categories: Orthopaedics

Effect of Online Classes on Children’s physical health

Corona pandemic has affected every aspect of human life including children. Whether it’s the mental health, physical health or a combination of both – the children have had their own share of health problems during this pandemic phase.

Increasing eyesight problems with frequent headaches are attributed to prolonged screen time. In addition, increasing anxiety and depression due to home confinement along with sleep disorders are also on the rise.

Children attending online classes at home are not bound to have classroom professionalism. Hence, their physical health is deteriorating too in many aspects.

  1. Poor ergonomics: Unlike classrooms, the children are not bound to follow good ergonomics at home. Taking online classes on bed and sofas are one of the commonest reasons that we can attribute to recent rise on back pains or fibromyalgic pains.
  2. Lack of physical activities: Obesity in children is on the rise either due to lack of outdoor physical activities or due to binge eating and easy availability of junk food at home.

Children are losing their muscle mass and adding fat which is going to affect their growth. Research has shown that the more physically active a child is during the growing period the better is their physical and mental health for the next 3-4 decades of life.

Children by being physically inactive are also losing their muscle tone thereby finding it very difficult to cope up with sports when they resume in future due to muscle rigidity.

Physical activities play a large role in Calcium and Vitamin D levels of the body. Deficiencies are on the rise in recent times in children and their reasons are very obvious

  1. Deficiencies of Calcium and Vitamin D: Apart from lack of physical activity, lack of sunlight exposure and poor diet also contributes to Calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies. Muscle cramps, spasms and strains/tears are common with trivial injuries / bad postures when a child is having severe deficiencies
  2. Injuries: Increasing number of injuries in children in recent times is either due to trivial injuries or due to over-enthusiasm and desperation of being isolated at home. Every child wants to get outdoors and their fitness is significantly poor due to the lockdown.

Parents need to be cautious as well as to make sure that their children remain fit and healthy

  • Wearing face masks, social distancing and emphasis on personal hygiene are a must for all of us
  • Create a classroom atmosphere at home to respect and maintain professionalism and good ergonomics
  • Set screen time for mobiles and tabs after class hours and encourage children to avoid electronic devices
  • Healthy muscles need good hydration and healthy food habits. Keep away from binge eating and junk foods
  • 30-45 minutes of sunlight exposure with a minimum of 1-1.5 hours of exertional/rigorous physical activity like Gym/aerobics/Yoga’s or outdoor physical activities whenever feasible is a must for all growing children
  • And lastly, parents need to set examples for their children

Dr. Rajendra Reddy, Sr. Consultant Orthopaedic and deformity correction Surgeon, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, HSR Layout

Narayana Health

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