With the transition of schoolchildren to distance learning in connection with the pandemic, the educational process has turned from “live” to virtual. Participation in it became possible only with the help of computers and other gadgets. Meanwhile, experts in the field of adolescent psychology warn: it is safe for children and adolescents to stay in front of the displays for no more than three hours a day. Exceeding this dose is fraught with serious health problems. However, not a single country in the world was able to meet the cherished for three hours.
According to Canadian experts, school-age children (and Canadians count age groups from 5 to 17 years old) should spend no more than 2 hours a day at computer screens. The third hour is added to do homework. And this is all that a student can afford without prejudice to his health.
Meanwhile, according to the estimates of the same Canadians, only 2.5% of children can withstand this norm after switching to distance learning, and nine out of every ten go beyond these limits even in only one person, extra-curricular use of the Internet, which is then supplemented by studies. And this endless sitting in front of the computer, according to doctors, has already begun to affect the health of children and adolescents of school age.
First of all, the experts stated, the eyesight of the children suffered. Endless looking at the computer leads to myopia (or myopia, blurring of distant objects). The eye constantly focused on something close, loses the practice of focusing on distant objects. To avoid this, people who spend a long time at computers, at least once every 20 minutes, need to look at objects at a distance of at least 6 meters. How to do this during an online lesson?
Following the vision, the problems of gaining excess weight and poor posture crawled out. Behind them are difficulties with reading and even speaking. And there are other problems with the physical and mental health of children.
An additional threat to health is posed by sitting still in front of the computer: “Students and schoolchildren sit with their eyes buried in the screen all day. When do they move? ” – Mitchell Guerrero, a specialist from the Children’s Hospital of the Eastern Ontario Research Institute (Canada), asks a rhetorical question. And she herself answers: “Never!” And from here – the problems arising with the metabolism, and then – the increased likelihood of excessive obesity in the child, diabetes, heart disease, and other “delights”. In short, everything that doctors in the US and Canada call metabolic syndrome.
In the United States, the trend of increasing the time spent at computers, of course, did not arise now. In 2016, compared to 2001, it grew on average by an hour per day, so what can we say about the era of coronavirus with its total distance, Americans lament. The only salvation is for schoolchildren to warm up at least once an hour, and preferably on the street. But does it fit into the online school curriculum? Alas, it doesn’t fit at all yet!
According to recent studies by the National Medical Research Center “Children’s Health” of the Ministry of Health of Russia, the time for study and homework with the transition to distance learning has significantly increased for more than half of the 30 thousand students in grades 5-11 surveyed. The duration of work with gadgets has also increased for more than 46% of schoolchildren, Marina Stepanova, the head of the laboratory for complex problems of hygiene of children and adolescents, specified to MK: “For 77% of respondents, it is 4 hours or more; 68% had a simultaneous decrease in the duration of their walks, and more than half had a decrease in physical activity ”.
The pupils’ eyesight was especially challenged, because “more than 73% of children regularly used smartphones not for a short time, but to search and download information,” Stepanova emphasized. – This is completely contrary to the basic principles of the safety of using gadgets for children’s eyesight and maintaining correct posture. As a result, children’s health worsened. So, 30% showed signs of the so-called computer-visual syndrome (redness of the eyes, pain, fog in front of the eyes), to which only professional computer users are usually exposed. Another 4% of children, due to active work with a computer mouse, complained of excessive tension in the hand. ”
– Such an active offensive of various gadgets, – the expert summed up, – requires a comprehensive study of the impact of this process on the life and health of the child!