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Effects of Computer Use on Children’s Health Essay

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Nowadays, computers have become prevalent around the world. There are more and more children playing computers in their home. However, many studies of children’s computer use show that there are some negative effects on children. The essay will explain the possible negative effects of computer use on children’s health and physical development in three aspects: children’s physical health, displacement of activities for physical development and children’s mental health.

Computer use may have negatively affect children’s physical health.

According to Shields and Behrman (2001), children who have escalating time on computers can suffer from the pains on their eyes, backs and their wrists. In addition, as what workers have injured because of staring too long at a computer screen, children can also have a harmful effect on their vision. Another side effect on children’s physical health is that taking more time to use computers will increase the risk of obesity. Because of excessive time on watching TV, more and more people are getting obese.

Furthermore, children will have the same risk if children increase their time on computers (Shields and Behrman, 2001). As Shields and Behrman (2001) advise, parents should have a limit on computer use to decrease the risk of those pains.

Children’s activities for physical development can also be displaced by the extensive computer use. Since computer use can take up a lot of children’s time, it can displace activities for health development. According to Shields and Behrman (2001), the use of computer is escalating over time. There were nearly 21,000,000 children and teenagers began to surf the internet in 2000. Many of children, whatever gender they are, use the internet to surf music they like, chat with each other and send email (Shields and Behrman, 2001). Furthermore, as what Subrahmanyam says, computer use may not decrease the time of TV. Therefore, because of computers, videogames and television, the screen time increases, which makes children have less time to do outdoor activities for their physical development (Subrahmanyam, 2001).

Another disturbing effect of computer use on children’s health and physical development is children’s mental health. The research of Subrahmanyam and colleagues (2001) shows the proportion of aggressive computer games is increasing time after time. Children who play violent computer games have different experiences from those playing educational games. For instance, if children play Duke Nukem and Doom for a long time, it can expose children to aggressive behavior (Shield and Behrman, 2001). Those suggest that children’s mental will get more violent. In addition, the study that launched among third and fourth grades shows children playing aggressive computer games act more violent than children playing outdoor activities, such as basketball (Subrahmanyam, 2001). In a word, children who are exposed to violent games for a long time may be more aggressive, which has a side effect on children’s mental health.

In conclusion, although there are many children use computers, it has negative effects on children’s health and physical development. As much time is spent on playing computers which increases children’s screen time, children’s outdoor activities are displaced. What is worse, computer use can make children get pains on their eyes, backs and wrists. Just as troublesome, children’s mental health can also be negatively affected by playing aggressive computer games. Therefore, it is important to set a time limit on children’s computer use.

Shields, M.K. and Berman, R.E. 2001 Children and Computer Technology Analyses and Recommendations available at http://www.futureofchildren.org/information2827 Subrahmanyam, K. et al. 2001 The impact of Home Computer Use on Children Use on Children’s Activities and Development in Children and Computer Technology available at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/-/kraut/Rkraut.site.files/articles/subrahmanyam00-computer&kids.pdf

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