Since mid-March, when most schools around the U.S. closed due to COVID-19 precautions, kids and teens have had to quickly adapt to learning virtually — which means more sitting and more screen time. Hanging out with friends after class or on weekends became a thing of the past as health officials called for social distancing measures.
The last pandemic occurred over a hundred years ago, well before “screen-time” became a thing. Though the health implications of increased screen time among young people has been studied over the past decade, the effects of more time spent online as a substitute for in-school learning, hasn’t yet been mined.
Doctors in many fields, however, such as physical medicine, psychology and ophthalmology, are already spotting signs and symptoms that could indicate future trends of how increased screen time for virtual learning, combined with a reduction of in-person interaction, is affecting young people’s lives.