Covid, obesity risk for teens at home
With the use of distance learning, prolonged exposure in front of a PC monitor and closed gyms, there are many young people throughout Italy who spend their days sedentary, to the detriment of the health of the spine and the entire skeletal system.
Added to this is the risk of obesity’ due to a diet rich in fatty foods and sugary drinks, which moreover contain substances that are bad for the bones. To understand the correct postures to assume while seated, stratagems to avoid muscle aches and the ideal menu’that mom and dad’can bring to the table, the Dire news agency turned to Sergio Sessa, orthopedist at the Bambino Gesu’Children’s Hospital in Rome.
What can be the risks of this sedentariness’
– Between the hours spent on school desks, or with distance learning and closed gyms, the’physical activity in this period is’greatly reduced. What can be the risks of this sedentariness’ damaging the spine of children and young people?
“This pandemic has greatly reduced activities’in general, and this affects the youngest individuals but also adults. Let’s also think about the teenage age, where kids spend a good part of the day sitting around chatting, playing games but also adults who are smart working. All of these circumstances– combined with the restrictions in place – today have greatly reduced the’activity’ and thus increased sedentariness’ and this has resulted in damage. Less activity’ is detrimental to our joints and increases muscle type pains going to further affect our quality’ of movement.
And then there’s another aspect to point out, that of a particular hormone which is’serotonin, the so-called feel-good hormone. This hormone is’very dependent on’physical activity’ physical. So less activity’ reduces the circulating hormone and the compensation mechanism that is triggered is to eat more’ sugars and fats thus going to increase body weight. This’affects even more’ the physical and psychological picture, which is already very compromised by the pandemic. Cervicalgia, low back pain and headache so’ they can compromise the overall health status of the subject.
That’s why it’s important to turn to specific figures
At Bambino Gesu’ there are dedicated outpatient clinics with specialized staff that deal with any kind of orthopedic pathology”.
– There are positions at the desk or in front of the PC that should be avoided, and why’? And what are the correct ones instead?
“When studying or working, the couch should be avoided. There are ergonomic desks and chairs, but they are not always widely used so the advice may’be to use cushions to ‘settle’ at the lumbar spine level to increase lordosis and maintain suitable posture. The’other basic rule is’always keep the pc screen at eye level while maintaining a natural and physiological neck posture. It’s very useful to make use of a footrest, which in turn helps both lumbar lordosis and cervical lordosis and on the other hand, in individuals of more advanced age’ it also increases peripheral perfusion.
This is especially for those who have problems with their circulatory system. Then pay attention to the wrists when using the keyboard and mouse. When sitting then the shoulders should be kept as straight as possible and in axis with the pelvis”.
– There are some easy exercises that can be done at home to strengthen the muscular apparatus’muscular system? It can’offer some extra advice to the moms and dads’ who follow us, useful for
Strengthen children’s bones perhaps through nutrition?
“The main advice, on a general level and for all ages’ is to move as much as’possible. It’s good to avoid using the elevator and opt for the stairs to reach home. And for those who study or work at home, I recommend taking breaks every hour for 5 or 10 trivial minutes and performing stretching exercises.
As a general rule, never abandon’physical activity’ physical activity. Weight can’affect the normal formation of bones especially in children: that’s why I advise all mothers, especially in the growth phase, to follow a proper diet and make use of the Mediterranean diet that’s very varied. Take in vitamin D through various foods just as it’s important to take in protein. At the same time, it’s essential to reduce the use of sugary drinks as much as possible because they’contain substances in them that go to affect normal bone formation”.