The start of a new school year means a big transition from lots of free play over the summer to lots of structured sitting time. As technology continues to develop, children are spending more and more time in front of a computer screen, both at school and at home.
Lisa Gigliotti, Physical Therapist at Child and Family Development, says we need to encourage good posture during computer use.
She recommends adhering to this guidelines from a committee of the International Ergonomics Association that researches proper ergonomics for children in educational environments. These are simple tweaks that you can make to help reduce the stress on your child‚Äôs body during homework time. You may also pick up a few tips for yourself- these guidelines apply to adults too!
This website has more details and descriptive pictures: http://www.iea.cc/ECEE/guidelines.html.
- Sit with feet fully on the floor with the knee joints no higher than the hips (this can put stress on the back.)
- The keyboard/mouse should be placed so the keys are right under the fingers when the elbows are bent to 90 degrees and the arms are relaxed at the side of the body. If the height of the keyboard is not adjustable, you may need to get a higher chair and a foot stool or phone book for under the feet.
- The wrists should be straight when using the keyboard and the mouse- not bent up or down.
- The monitor should be directly in front with the top of the screen below eye level- no chin poking out!
- Change positions every 15-20 minutes, and get up and move around every 30-60 minutes.
- If using a laptop computer, follow the same rules with wrists straight, arms relaxed, and computer screen below eye level.
Hopefully, these guidelines will help to build a comfortable and productive learning environment as well as preserve a healthy body.