Excessive Screen Time Attributed To Thoracic Spine Pain, Study Shows

In Education

Excessive screen time among high schoolers can cause lower back pain, according to a study by Brazilian researchers. This condition can lead to lower grades and less physical activity. Risk factors identified in the study include looking at digital devices for over three hours daily, sitting or lying on the stomach, and proximity of the eyes to the screen.

Thoracic spine pain prevalence up to 35% in teens and children

To gather data on thoracic spine pain (TSP), the research team conducted surveys among 14 to 18-year-old male and female students in their first or second year of high school in Bauru, a medium-sized city in São Paulo. The thoracic spine, located between the shoulder blades and extending from the bottom of the neck to the start of the lumbar spine, was the specific area of focus for the study.

The study involved 1628 participants who completed an initial questionnaire between March and June 2017. Among them, 1393 participants completed a follow-up questionnaire in 2018. The prevalence of thoracic spine pain was 38.4%, while the incidence was 10.1%. Girls were more likely to report TSP than boys.

The prevalence of thoracic spine pain (TSP) ranges from 13-35% in children and adolescents, and during the pandemic, the increase in electronic device use exacerbated the issue. Numerous studies have identified risk factors for TSP, including physical, physiological, psychological, and behavioral factors, with the World Health Organization (WHO) considering them critical in its latest global review. The study’s authors suggest that the results could help inform health education programs for students, teachers, staff, and parents.

Students should be taught about health and self-care habits

Dr. Vitta suggests that schools are responsible for educating students on health, including identifying risks and promoting self-care practices. Vitta teaches and researches at Eduvale College and the University of Sapucaí Valley’s Graduate Program in Education, Knowledge, and Society.

The study authors emphasized the importance of identifying risk factors for thoracic spine pain (TSP) in high school students. These students with back pain are more inactive, achieve less academically, and experience more psychosocial issues.

Mobile Sliding Menu