Keep Kids Healthy with Proper Ergonomics

With school, work, and extracurricular activities all moving online in the past year due to the pandemic, everyone has been doing a lot more sitting at a computer and a lot less moving. It’s pretty easy to fall into bad habits of slouching in your chair or not setting up your environment to facilitate good posture and positioning. Poor positioning can have a severe impact on the body during prolonged use of electronic devices. If you’ve ever heard of or experienced “laptop-itis” or “iPad Neck,” then you know. Neck and shoulder pain are becoming increasingly common symptoms of tablet and computer use. It happens because we often hold the devices in our laps with shoulders hunched and necks flexed forward or have to look down at our laptop sitting on the table for 8 hours a day. 

Studies have shown that work-related musculoskeletal disorders are the most prevalent. They’re also the most expensive and most preventable workplace injuries in the country. With this in mind, it is crucial to teach children the proper body mechanics BEFORE their positioning becomes problematic.

Here are our top tips for correcting your posture while working or in school.

Move Toward a Neutral Posture 

Find a way to have computer monitors or screens level with your child’s forehead and at an arm’s length distance. 

First, try raising the computer monitor or laptop to the appropriate height. Then, use a remote keyboard and mouse for proper positioning.

You can purchase stands or risers to raise the height of your monitor or laptop, but you can always use a cardboard or plastic box that you already have on hand! 

Take a Break Every 20-30 Minutes

Take posture breaks and screen breaks every 20-30 minutes. Remind your child to take small breaks to change their positioning, shift tasks, and perform stretches.

Have your child look away from the screen and change their focal point from near to far. Also, remind them to blink!

Spring is here, and it’s the perfect time to take a short walk around the neighborhood, run in the backyard, or any other activity to get our body moving.

Remember the 90°-90°-90° Rule of Ergonomics

Posture - 90 Rule of ErgonomicsRemember the 90°-90°-90° rule of ergonomics – right angles at the knees, hips, and elbows. This may require you to try out a few different chairs or table heights.

You can use cushions and footrests to facilitate this posture. 

Also, encourage your child to keep his or her elbows bent at about 90° when using a keyboard. The table is often too high for children, which leads to them reaching up to high, or elevating their shoulders, to use the keyboard.

Try out these simple modifications today to work on correcting your posture and using proper ergonomics this month!


About Skills 4 Life:

Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers a broad range of pediatric occupational therapy services to help your child master age-appropriate developmental skills, become more independent, increase academic success & develop confidence. The experts at Skills 4 Life specialize in handwriting, keyboarding & executive function coaching and work with children on social & emotional learning, motor skills, self-regulation strategies & activities of daily living. Skills 4 Life Pediatric Occupational Therapy offers your child a safe, compassionate environment to learn the critical skills they need to be successful. Learn more about our team & services at www.skills4lifeot.com, or you can contact our office by email at karina@skills4lifeot.com or by phone at 303.351.1828 for a free consultation.

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