Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Kids May Get Pain From Playing Handheld Games

Study Shows Children Report Wrist and Finger Pain From Using Gaming Devices, Mobile Phones
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

May 25, 2011 -- Young people who use gaming devices or mobile phones for extended periods of time may experience pain in their wrists and fingers, a study shows.

Researchers studied the effects of playing computer games on devices such as a Gameboy or an Xbox on wrist and finger pain in 257 students between the ages of 9 and 15 in two schools in St. Louis.

They also looked at the effect of mobile phone use, including texting, over time.

The researchers found that a higher amount of wrist and finger pain was reported by the students due to the use of gaming devices compared to the use of mobile phones.

"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, MD, a professor of rheumatology at New York University Hospital, says in a news release. "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."

Playing Games Brings Pain

Students participating in the study were given a questionnaire asking about game consoles, handheld gaming devices, and mobile phone use. The number of hours the devices were used and amount of wrist and finger pain experienced were recorded.

Pain was worse for youths who used a Gameboy or Xbox compared to kids who used the iPhone. The researchers say that each hour of play increased the odds of reported pain by twofold.

In mobile phone users, wrist and finger pain was associated with sending text messages, number of texts sent, use of text abbreviations, and the type of keyboard.

Among mobile phone users, girls reported twice as much pain as boys.

The researchers conclude that the findings could have implications for ages when children should be allowed to start using gaming consoles, handheld devices, and mobile phones and could lead to recommendations for parents.

The study is being presented at the annual congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in London, May 25-May 28.

This study is being presented at a medical conference. The findings should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration