LOCOMOTIVE SYNDROME AMONG CHILDREN FEARED
Due to increased time spent at home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, there are concerns about the deterioration of motor functions to support and move the body among children, Mainichi Shimbun reported
The condition is called "locomotive syndrome," and is said to occur, for example, when people do not get enough exercise because they are spending too much time on their smartphones or playing video games. It can lead to injuries and other damage, and if left unresolved, there is a danger of patients easily breaking their bones or becoming bedridden in the future.
"Since I started going to school again, I've tended to trip a lot," a 16-year-old high school student said when she visited the Saitama-based Hayashi orthopedic hospital in early July. She advanced to high school this spring, but because of the prolonged closure of schools, she was on her smartphone for longer periods of time and began to lack exercise. She twisted her ankle and suffered a ligament injury that is expected to take six weeks to heal.
The hospital has received a spate of reports on similar injuries caused by small body movements. Shohiro Hayashi, 71-year-old head of the hospital who works as a school physician at two junior high schools, has seen students breaking their bones due to jump roping in July and August. At one junior high school a student hit their back when doing a forward somersault and was sent to a hospital in an ambulance.
Locomotive syndrome is a disease where the motor functions of bones, joints, muscles and other body parts, which a person needs to move, deteriorate. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association introduced the condition in 2007 and has been calling for countermeasures in order to prevent elderly people from becoming bedridden. It has been pointed out recently that children can also develop the disease, due to longer periods spent on video games and the lack of places to play outside. The effects of the prolonged school closures are also a concern.