A study shows that new technology is reducing children's ability to use a pencil or pen. The study is from the National Health Service in the UK. Researchers said that nowadays, children spend so much time swiping iPads or mobile phone screens that they cannot hold a pencil properly. Children are not using pencils, so they now lack the muscle strength in their hands to be able to write properly. Researcher Dr Sally Payne said: "Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and [ability] they had 10 years ago. Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not able to hold it because they don't have the fundamental movement skills."
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The researchers said technology is changing the physical way that children write, draw or make things. Children are increasingly using technology to create. Dr Payne explained why. She said: "It's easier to give a child an iPad than encourage them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks, cutting and sticking, or pulling toys and ropes. Because of this, they're not developing the underlying foundation skills they need to grip and hold a pencil." Some experts say technology may be causing bigger problems. One expert said if a child isn't strong enough to hold a pencil, perhaps their whole body is weak. She said it was better for children's physical development to climb trees than to watch YouTube videos.
- Schwellnus et al https://ajot.aota.org/article.aspx?articleid=1851631