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  Children risk health damage from gaming
Updated 17 February 2002, 11.50
Playing computer games
One out of five children aged six to 11 could be suffering health problems like "mouse elbow" and "joystick digit" from computer games, reports the Independent on Sunday newspaper.

The report comes from new Japanese research involving 1,142 kids. It found those who play for more than an hour are most at risk.

Black rings

Fact File
Safe gaming advice
Position yourself to use comfortable, not awkward postures
Keep hands, fingers and other body parts relaxed
Take breaks every 15 minutes
Develop a healthy lifestyle

The experts say mouse elbow is caused by damage to the tissue of the elbow and arm because of repetitive movement.

Damage is also caused by clicking and moving the mouse too quickly and vigorously.

Mouse movements can also cause palm blisters. Joystick digit is the result too much finger use on controls.

Some spend so much time gaming they suffer black rings around their eyes and stiff muscles.

Heart problems

A third of the kids questioned even had shoulder blades in the wrong position because of over-playing.

And researchers think over-gaming could eventually cause heart damage.

The new study backs up UK campaigners' claims that computer games should have health warnings on them.

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