Gaming possibly linked to attention deficit
Too much time gaming, texting, tech-ing, - may affect how kids perform in school.
Covenant Healthcare occupational therapist Katie Roettele, MSOTRS says, "There is fine motor coordination, which is the ablity to coordiate your fingers. The planning that goes into it and the ability to carry that out."
Then there are gross motor skills, like running, jumping, or even sitting up on your own. They are different skill-sets that work together.
"Their gross motor skills directly effect their fine motor skills so if someone is delayed in gross motor, they're going to have delays in fine motor," Roettele adds, "Which directly is going to effect things like handwriting and attention in school."
Using cell phones, tablets and even video games requires both gross and fine motor skills. But, there are two concerns, Roettele says, "I think the prolonged effects we're going to see down the road and how being on their phones and on their computers so much has delayed these skills later in life"
The repetitive, very similar motions used on most tech devices, limit the range of joints and muscles that are getting a "workout", if you will. So skills like writing, for example, may be delayed.
Additionally, the hyper focus it takes to play a video game, may have the same type of "over-use" impact on our brains, "Sometimes video games can be focused on, 'Uou gotta reach one target'. Where in life, there are going to be other distractions. "
Which may mean attention deficits and an inibility to focus on a teacher in a classroom full of other kids.
The solution here, Roettele says, is not a tech ban, rather a balance- one that allows kids to use their brains and bodies in different types of play, "Just getting outside and engaging in physical activitiy, that can improve their muscle tone and overall coordination."
It is also important for kids to socialize- not just via text, or social media- but having face to face interactions. Think of it like cross-training, for your both the mind and body.