Assessing health risks for schoolchildren and students caused by exposure to educational and entertaining information technologies
O.Yu. Milushkina1, N.A. Skoblina1, S.V. Markelova1, A.A. Tatarinchik1, N.A. Bokareva1, D.M. Fedotov2
1Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, 1 Ostrovitianov Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation
2Northern State Medical University, 51 Troitskiy Ave., Arkhangelsk, 163000, Russian Federation
Information and communication technologies play a significant role in life of children, teenagers and young people as they are massively spread among these age groups. It is a new risk factor that can cause health disorders among oncoming generation. Our research objects were 465 senior schoolchildren living in Moscow and Moscow region and 598 students from Moscow and Arkhangelsk. Our research goal was to study influences exerted by information and communication technologies on health of senior schoolchildren and students; to do that, we applied risk assessment procedures, including hygienic, sociological, instrumental, and statistic techniques, as well as risk assessment itself. The obtained results revealed a negative trend and it was a growing number of young people with overweight and obesity.
We determined how and to what extent various frequency of electronic devices being in use influenced deviations in physical development of senior schoolchildren and students (p<0.05): a correlation between body weight and frequency of using a PC (0.60); fat mass and frequency of using a PC (0.67); control over fat mass and frequency of using a PC (–0.62); control over body weight and frequency of using a PC (–0.54); a fat mass fraction and frequency of using a PC (0.58). We detected an average and a high risk of myopia (RR – 6.62), disorders and diseases in the neuropsychic sphere (RR – 5.60) depending on how frequently young people used a laptop or a PC with an etiologic component being high in these two factors (62.4 % and 21.9 % accordingly). We also detected a cause-and-effect relationship between functional disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system (RR – 1.20–1.48) and using a PC, laptop or a pad with an attributive risk related to these factors being considerable (21.7 % for using a pad and 11.7 % for using a PC or a laptop). We determined a safe period of time for “overall” use of electronic devices in educational activities and for entertaining; this period should not exceed 3 hours.
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