Health Risks of Video and Computer Gaming

Everything in moderation.  While we are living in a fast-paced, computer-dependent world, we need to constantly have to remind ourselves that our bodies are made for movement.  Sitting for hours in front of a computer or a video game can cause us to be at-risk for fatal health problems such as pulmonary embolism.

As parents, caregivers and teachers, let us constantly remind our kids not to sit for several hours in front of their computers and consoles.  As the article above stated:

…medical experts fear youngsters who spend hours glued to their consoles might also be at risk and have urged them to take regular breaks.

Some tips:

  • Set a time limit for computer use and playing video games.  When you impose a time limit, it would be wise for you to have an alternative activity ready.  Some children cannot be just told to “do something else”.  They might need our help in  finding other activities that would alleviate potential boredom.  Be ready with at least two to three alternative activities that your child could do for the day apart from playing video games.
  • A good alternative activity would be to set “play dates” (for very young kids) or to enroll your child to a sports clinic or an arts, crafts, or music class.  Be sure to make them choose which ones they prefer.  Out children’s activities should always encourage them to explore their interests.
  • Encourage physical activity.  Take them to a playground, jog with them or play a sport with them.  The value of movement and exercise is best taught by example.
  • Encourage the value of building relationships with other people (especially peers) over and above tasks, activities and other accomplishments.  When children learn the importance of relating with other people, they will find more satisfaction in personal interactions than in virtual ones.
Here are some services that provide alternative activities for children: