More than eight out of 10 parents say their children spend up to four hours a day playing games on hand held devices, games consoles and computers and are concerned about how it affects their health and wellbeing, according to new research.
Poor posture, headaches, back problems and a lack of concentration are all reported as issues by parents in the survey conducted by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT).
The Society says that if taught early, the Alexander Technique can prevent bad habits forming that would otherwise lead to poor posture and other health problems in later life. International Alexander Awareness Week which runs from 8-14 October will this year focus on children, encouraging and supporting their parents and teachers to help children and pupils be ‘Poised for Life’.
Children and young people love playing games on their smart phones, tablets and computers as well as hi-tech systems such as Xbox and Wii. This culture for gaming is reflected in the STAT survey which shows that 85 per cent of children (who are allowed to play games on such devices) spend up to four hours a day doing so and 78 per cent of parents are concerned about their child’s posture while playing such games.
It’s not about stopping children from gaming and going on computers altogether, but they can do it equipped with tools and strategies designed to maintain good posture and therefore, good health.”
Angela East, of STAT, said: “Bad habits can be formed from a very young age which later lead to posture, mobility and other health problems in later life. The Alexander Technique is a great tool – it teaches you how to use yourself correctly so that you benefit from less stress and back pain and improved posture and wellbeing.
“The key is to encourage good posture and sitting among our children and young people and the Alexander Technique helps prevent bad habits, such as hunching and slouching, from creeping in and affecting their health.
“It’s not about stopping children from gaming and going on computers altogether, but they can do it equipped with tools and strategies designed to maintain good posture and therefore, good health.”
STAT teachers across the UK are taking part in International Alexander Awareness Week and free introductory Alexander Technique lessons are available. To find your nearest STAT teacher, go to www.stat.org.uk