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Arthritis strikes gaming youngsters

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Youngsters are increasingly suffering from arthritis-like pains due to their excessive use of games consoles and mobile phones, it has been claimed.

The revelation came from the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), which holds its annual conference in London this week.

Consultants reckon roughly 90 per cent of British kids around eight years old own at least one games console. With some nippers spending up to seven hours a day playing on their gadgets, EULAR has seen unprecedented numbers of youngsters suffer from pains normally found in elderly patients with chronic rheumatism, The Sun reports.

After treating kids for such symptoms, Dr Gavin Cleary, a consultant from Merseyside's Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, said: "With increasing numbers of children using gaming devices there should be consideration for statutory health warnings."

Other studies from across the Atlantic come to a similar conclusion: frequent use of games devices and phones cause intense joint pain. Fact.

Perhaps the claims are a bit bleedin' obvious. As someone who blames his unintelligible handwriting and shaky hands on damage sustained through button bashing in various Super Street Fighter editions, I certainly won't dispute them.

There are countless gadgets out there that come with RSI warnings. The Nintendo Wii comes with one to warn users about 'Wii-itis'. Is it a surprise such health advice isn't already present in regular pad-based videogames? What are your views? ®

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