The postural control of Brazilian children aged 6 to 9 years using a smartphone is similar to their posture with eyes closed
Keywords:child development, balance, postural control, screen time
Introduction: Electronic devices have been used by increasingly younger people, leading researchers to investigate
the impact of these technologies on the health of developing children.
Objective: To investigate the impact of smartphone use on the postural control of Brazilian children 6 to 9 years old.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted with 278 children from public schools in Goiânia (Goiás, Brazil). The children were assessed in an orthostatic posture with the computerized baropodometry system in three conditions: eyes open, eyes closed, and using a free smartphone application.
Results: The children were 8.36 years old on average, 82% of them were well-nourished, and had a daily mean screen time of 2 hours. The postural control analyses revealed that the children made greater postural adjustments with their eyes closed than with them open. When using the smartphone application, the postural adjustments were similar to those with eyes closed. In the stabilometry, the postural displacements made by the children behaved similarly to the static assessment only in total feet surface area.
Conclusion: Smartphone use and absence of visual stimulus in the orthostatic position caused postural instability in children 6 to 9 years old. These findings can contribute to understanding the impact of technologies on children’s development of balance in daily tasks.
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