Pain in your knees? It could be all that screen time

By , KCBS Radio

It will likely come as no surprise that most of us have been spending a lot more time starting at screens over the past year.

"Studies have shown that in our high school kids, the amount of screen time they are spending more than four hours a day has doubled," UCSF Sports Medicine Specialist, Dr. Cindy Chang told KCBS Radio's "As Prescribed."

"Alarmingly, even in our elementary school kids, that amount of screen time - more than four times a day - has doubled in that population," she added.

Dr. Chang's patients are showing up to doctor appointments with more injuries. She blamed all the extra sitting.

"Hip muscles are getting tighter because the sitting is happening all day. Because people are over their screens - especially laptops. There’s a lot more slumping. Their shoulders are rounded," she explained.

"So when then people go to exercise, or all of a sudden they’re out there and they’re running around, they’re suffering hip injuries like flexor strains. The kneecaps - because the muscles are all tighter - they’re getting a lot more anterior knee pain because of kneecap tracking problems."

Dr. Chang is seeing more shoulder injuries because of tight muscles in that area, too. She spent time working in the WNBA "wubble," and found elite athletes also had more issues after extended periods of inactivity.

Her advice: If you’re working on a laptop, raise it on a shoebox so the screen is level with your eyes, and use an external keyboard.

That can help with the slouching.

To break up the sitting, just move around as much as you can. Have a family dance party with the kids. Schedule a dedicated lunch break. Take a walking phone call instead of a sitting zoom meeting.

"You can even step in place while you’re in front of your computer just to be active," she said.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images