Health Concerns Among Students Due To Online Classes And An Unconventional Method Of Pedagogy

Various  school and college students  are completing their education by staying home and 'attending classes' at their respective institutions sitting inside the four walls  of their houses. While a huge amount of students seem to be pretty happy with this forced method of teaching, not all students and their parents are in  favour  of such a system of Pedagogy. Lack of adequate technology and poor or no  internet connections are just basic issues that are faced by many students across the country. But one of the more severe issues are the 'health concerns' that arise in students while attending online classes.

Let's look at some of the severe health issues that students are facing due to these online classes :

1. Dreadful Ergonomics :  In most schools, students have to follow a disciplined way of being in the class which includes sitting on benches and sitting upright. Unlike classrooms, most students take online classes by slouching on their couches or beds due to which they aren't  bound to follow a good system of ergonomics while they are at home. Thus,  we can see that many students have been suffering from joint pains, back pains or fibromyalgia pains. Constant practice of such poor ergonomics can lead to chronic pains for students in the future.

2. Obesity and Unhealthy weight gain : Lack of physical activities clubbed with unhealthy junk food rises the risk of students gaining deleterious weight and turning obese. Restricted movement and binge eating are turning students into couch potatoes.

Without exercise, the muscle mass will reduce rapidly and the students will gain unhealthy fat in their bodies. This will hamper their growth and make them extremely injury prone. Obesity can then lead to life-threatening illnesses like heart problems, diabetes and even cancer.

3. Eye-Strains due to devices :                                          

Looking into the screens of computers and mobile phones can cause damage  to  the eyes of children. The 'blue light' emitted by these devices can cause 'visual noise' and result in severe eye problems. According to a study conducted by the National Eye Institute, children are more susceptible to these blue lights and can result in strained red eyes.

A study conducted  in 2020,  testing responses from student volunteers found that with six to seven hours of visual exposure the “spectral profile of light emitted by the screens of various devices  impacts on circadian physiology,cognitive performance and alertness”.

4. Anxiety and Depression in Students :

Schools are not just centres of education but a social sphere where students could Connect with their peers, communicate with their teachers and maintain a personal social life for their well-being . But this has become a challenge when all these interactions occur  remotely.

Isolation has created mental and emotional pressure amongst students. Sleep deprivation and insomnia is a common phenomenon in students today. The inability to interact with others makes them prone to anxiety. It deteriorates the mental stability of a child, eventually leading to decreased academic achievement and even to Depression.

5. Prone to physical Injuries :

Recently, the  number of injuries in students has increased significantly  due to trivial injuries or due to hyperactivity and desperation of being isolated within the four walls of their houses.  Children want to get outdoors and play but  their fitness is quite  poor due to  the lockdown.

Apart from this lack of exposure to sunlight and an unbalanced diet also contributes to the deficiency of Calcium and Vitamin D in the bodies. Muscle cramps, tissue tears, spasms and  strains  are quite common when a child has such  deficiencies in their diet.

Online classes have been significant in ensuring that students get their valuable education while staying indoors and fighting against the pandemic. But, there are huge health hazards associated with this form of pedagogy. New and innovative practices should be encouraged amongst students to reduce the risk of these health problems until the pandemic is over and we conduct classes conventionally.