Parents, make sure your kids know the importance of good posture while gaming

Do you or your child play a lot of video games? Make sure you're taking breaks, because, if not, it could cause future problems with your neck, back and eyes.

Now that Christmas is over, many kids are eagerly starting to play with their new video games, which can be a great way to stay entertained. But, it’s also important to make sure they’re taking regular breaks.

“We see neck pain. We see a lot of back pain as well, headaches,” said Dr. Drew Schwartz, chiropractor for Cleveland Clinic and the E-Sports Medicine Team.

He said many of these injuries can be avoided if you take the right precautions. For example, the 20-20-20 rule can help with eye strain. Here’s how it works: Every 20 minutes have your child look at something 20 feet away, preferably with greenspace and natural light, for 20 seconds.

You could also set a timer to remind them.

Schwartz said regular breaks aren’t just important for their eyes but their neck and back too, so make sure they are getting movement in as well.

They could do jumping jacks, yoga or another activity they enjoy.

And don’t forget about posture. Dr. Schwartz said how someone is seated will differ depending on the type of device they are using, but in general, it’s best to sit in a supportive office chair at a desk.

“If you’re playing in a general area of the living room, you’ll want to sit on a more supportive chair. I am not sitting on a couch that is super comfortable but adds no support or does not support my body at all. We want to sit on, if we can, an office chair would be great,” he recommended.

Schwartz said if your child starts to complain of pain or discomfort for an extended period of time, you should consult with their physician. It’s better to address the issue early on before it becomes something serious.