Sharjah, 21 December 2017
The preliminary findings of a study conducted by the Health Promotion Department at Sharjah’s Supreme Council of Family Affairs, on the use of technological devices, which included participants made up of more than 1,000 male and female parents in the Emirate of Sharjah, confirmed that 87% of the respondents believe that excessive use of these devices negatively affects their health.77% of respondents also stated that this new technology led to the emergence of behavioral and social disorders in their children, and 90% of respondents support not giving children under the age of six years any smart devices.
The results were revealed during the educational seminar that was organized by the Health Promotion Department on Wednesday at the University Hospital Sharjah, during which it launched its Awareness Campaign "A Moment ... Towards a Healthy Life" aimed at raising awareness among the community about the dangers of the excessive use of technological devices and their negative impacton their health.The campaign lasts a full month and includes many events, including an online awareness campaign on all social networking sites.
Negative impact on parents and children
The results of the study also found that 32% of parents confirmed that their children suffered from vision problems due to excessive use of electronic devices, 13% indicated that their children suffered from decreased concentration, and 9% indicated that the negative impact of electronic devices led to children being obese and overweight. In terms of the impact of electronic devices on parents, 16% indicated that they had pain or vision problems, while 15% of them reported back and joint pain.
In line with the objectives of the campaign on raising awareness on the effects and dangers of electronic devices, 81% of respondents stated that they would like to know more about the negative effects of technological devices on their health and lives, and 31% of respondents preferred social media networking sites as a means of raising awareness about this issue. The study will continue on until it is completed, after which the final results will be announced.
An educational seminar on the dangers of electronic devices
At the seminar, Dr Hussain Al Maseeh, social care expert at the Community Development Authority (CDA) in Dubai, discussed the impact of social networking technology on the family environment. Nada Zuhair Al Adeeb, Director of Community Nutrition Department at Abu Dhabi Health Services Co., addressed the impact of technology on the nutritional health of the individual.Dr. Mansoor Anwar Habib, Consultant on Family Medicine and Occupational health, discussed the issues of positive health and technological challenges.
The seminar was also attended by Dr. Abdul Salam Al-Zaabi, Head of the Physical Education Departmentofthe Faculty of Education at the United Arab Emirates University, who spoke about the negative effects of technology on health and the therapeutic role of physical and athletic activity, while his colleague Dr.Suad Al Marzooqi, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at the Faculty of Humanities at United Arab Emirates University, discussed the impact of technology on mental health.
"The use of technological devices, especially smartphones and laptops, has become a reality," said HE Iman Rashid Saif, Director of the Health Promotion Department, "Therefore, this awareness campaign is aimed at focusing on the dangers of overusing these devices, and its effects not just on physical health, but also on mental health, social life, and all other aspects of life.”
She added, “Following the vision of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and under the guidance of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, the wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, we will continue to launch awareness campaigns that promote awareness of healthy and hygienic habits, and campaigns that help protect members of the community against harmful practices.”
At the end of the seminar, the Health PromotionDepartment honored its partners in this campaign, in addition to honoring the speakers and awarding them certificates, in recognition of their efforts in promoting health awareness andfor participating in the efforts of the Department in promoting healthy practices.
The campaign will include an awareness-raising campaign on social networking sites, radio interviews with specialists, as well as the publication of various awareness issues in various media outlets. All the activities of the campaign will be supervised by a group of doctors and specialists, in order to ensure the achievement of the campaign’s objectives.