Paging Dr. Buzzkill: Playing Video Games Can Mess Up Your Wrists

Filed under: In The News

This looks fun, but your wrists may suffer. Credit: Getty Images

What? You think you can save the world from alien mutant freaks without a little bit of personal discomfort?

If you're not prepared to take the risk, put down the video game.

Researchers tell WebMD you risk a lot more than being blown to virtual smithereens. You may experience (heaven help you) wrist and finger pain.

According to the website, researchers looked at the effect of playing computer games on Gameboy, Xbox and other systems where you have to move your fingers and wrists faster than Liberace. In all, some 257 gamers ages 9 and 15 were studied in St. Louis schools.

"Our study has shown the negative impact that playing computer games and using mobile phones can have on the joints of young children, raising concerns about the health impact of modern technology later in life," Yusuf Yazici, a professor of rheumatology at New York University Hospital, tells WebMD. "We hope that further research in this area will shed light on what could be a serious health concern for today's gaming children in later life."

Well, thank you, Dr. Buzzkill.

WebMD reports kids in the study were given a questionnaire about game consoles, hand-held gaming devices and mobile phones. The hours they used these devices were recorded.

Kids who used a Gameboy or Xbox experienced more pain than kids who used iPhones. Researchers tell the magazine that each hour of play increased the odds of pain twofold.

But, hey, no pain, no gain -- or bonus lives.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.