Increasing use of mobile gadgets is causing posture issues to a lot of Hong Kong students, according to a survey by the Children Chiropractic Foundation.
The survey, conducted between September last year and August this year, found that 944 of 1,392 students aged under 16, or 67 percent, suffer from scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine), rounded back or misaligned shoulders caused by problems in their spine, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Some of them require corrective measures, with spinal curvature of as much 70 degrees.
Chiropractor Jacky Chan Yat-sang, the foundation’s honorary adviser, said spinal problems can result from incorrect sitting posture, such as crossing their legs or leaning their heads on their hands, and also from heavy schoolbags and lack of exercise.
Chan said parents should keep their children from spending too much time playing with smartphones and tablet computers because it is a source of posture issues and spinal problems as well.
In serious cases, these may lead to bone spur or spinal disc herniation.
The foundation also found that 55 percent of 815 parents who were interviewed revealed their children have various allergy symptoms, with nasal allergy accounting for the most at 42 percent. One hundred and thirty parents said their children have skin allergy.
According to Chan, a curved spine tend to press on the nerves, whose transmission of signals to the brain may be slowed and cause allergies as a result.
He urged parents to pay more attention to children’s sitting posture and correct them as timely as possible.
Parents should push their children to exercise more often and engage in activities that can help stretch their bodies, Chan said.
The foundation’s Kids First Chiropractic Centre in Kowloon City provides detailed examinations for children with posture issues.
Those under the full grant of the School Textbook Assistance and the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme will be checked and treated free of charge.
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