Principles for the wise use of computers by children. Ergonomics, 52(11), 1386-1401

Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA, Australia.
Ergonomics (Impact Factor: 1.56). 11/2009; 52(11):1386-401. DOI: 10.1080/00140130903067789
Source: PubMed


Computer use by children at home and school is now common in many countries. Child computer exposure varies with the type of computer technology available and the child's age, gender and social group. This paper reviews the current exposure data and the evidence for positive and negative effects of computer use by children. Potential positive effects of computer use by children include enhanced cognitive development and school achievement, reduced barriers to social interaction, enhanced fine motor skills and visual processing and effective rehabilitation. Potential negative effects include threats to child safety, inappropriate content, exposure to violence, bullying, Internet 'addiction', displacement of moderate/vigorous physical activity, exposure to junk food advertising, sleep displacement, vision problems and musculoskeletal problems. The case for child specific evidence-based guidelines for wise use of computers is presented based on children using computers differently to adults, being physically, cognitively and socially different to adults, being in a state of change and development and the potential to impact on later adult risk. Progress towards child-specific guidelines is reported. Finally, a set of guideline principles is presented as the basis for more detailed guidelines on the physical, cognitive and social impact of computer use by children. The principles cover computer literacy, technology safety, child safety and privacy and appropriate social, cognitive and physical development. The majority of children in affluent communities now have substantial exposure to computers. This is likely to have significant effects on child physical, cognitive and social development. Ergonomics can provide and promote guidelines for wise use of computers by children and by doing so promote the positive effects and reduce the negative effects of computer-child, and subsequent computer-adult, interaction.

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    • "It requires children and their parents to determine the risk specific to the situation. Guidelines for principles of healthy use of technologies among children have been published in recent years (Straker et al., 2009), but it is necessary to translate these ergonomics principles into accessible language that families can apply to their own situations. The first author has, at the request of school administrators, presented a series of workshops for teachers, school children and their parents that have focussed on how to identify risky postures and strategies to minimise postural discomfort. "
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    ABSTRACT: Maintaining the musculoskeletal health of children using mobile information and communication technologies (ICT) at home presents a challenge. The physical environment influences postures during ICT use and can contribute to musculoskeletal complaints. Few studies have assessed postures of children using ICT in home environments. The present study investigated the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) scores determined by 16 novice and 16 experienced raters. Each rater viewed 11 videotaped scenarios of a child using two types of mobile ICT at home. The Grand Scores and Action Levels determined by study participants were compared to those of an ergonomist experienced in postural assessment. All postures assessed were rated with an Action Level of 2 or above; representing a postural risk that required further investigation and/or intervention. The sensitivity of RULA to assess some of the unconventional postures adopted by children in the home is questioned. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.
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    • "Review of the child-specific principles produced in Straker et al. (Straker et al. 2009b) to present detailed guidelines for appropriate physical development of children using computers N/A The physical development guidelines produced are all based on the available evidence from the literature such as—children should take a break from computer tasks every 30 min., use active input devices whenever possible, be encouraged to move around and periodically alter their postures. Werth and Babski- Reeves (2012) Laptop, tablet Electrogoniometers were used to assess postures of wrist flexion/extension, wrist radial and ulnar deviation, neck flexion/extension on two different work surfaces 12 adults (mean age 23.25 years old) "
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    • "Similarly, case studies have been documented of AiEG (Nintendo Wii Remote) play by adults resulting in inflammation of tendon insertion and joints, termed 'wii-itis' (Bonis 2007; Nett, Collins, and Sperling 2008). To reduce risks associated with prolonged postures and repetitive actions, ergonomics literature and computer use guidelines and government codes have recommended postural variety, taking breaks and changing the activity after 30– 60 minutes (National Occupational Health and Safety Commission 1994; Straker et al. 2009; Ciccarelli et al. 2011). High accelerations and relative forces are known to compound the risk of repetitive overuse injuries from occupational and sports activities in adults (Marras and Schoenmarklin 1993; Schoenmarklin, Marras, and Leurgans 1994; Burkhart, Morgan, and Kibler 2000; Kibler and Safran 2000; Straker et al. 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Electronic games (e-games) are widely used by children, often for substantial durations, yet to date there are no evidence-based guidelines regarding their use. The aim of this paper is to present guidelines for the wise use of e-games by children based on a narrative review of the research. This paper proposes a model of factors that influence child-e-games interaction. It summarises the evidence on positive and negative effects of use of e-games on physical activity and sedentary behaviour, cardio-metabolic health, musculoskeletal health, motor coordination, vision, cognitive development and psychosocial health. Available guidelines and the role of guidelines are discussed. Finally, this information is compiled into a clear set of evidence-based guidelines, about wise use of e-games by children, targeting children, parents, professionals and the e-game industry. These guidelines provide an accessible synthesis of available knowledge and pragmatic guidelines based on e-game specific evidence and related research.
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