Importance of Children’s Ergonomics
Children’s ergonomics is the practice of creating an environment that is optimal for focus and healthy skeletal and muscular development. Similarly to adult ergonomics, ergonomics for kids places a huge emphasis on molding the environment around the person, working with the natural posture and tendencies of the human body, and fostering injury-free, comfortable spaces.
Unlike ergonomics for grown-ups, ergonomics for children comes with the added challenge of children constantly growing and changing. So, ergonomics takes on a significant role in the development not just of good habits and posture, but of healthy skeletal development in these important formative years.
Fostering children’s ergonomics at home and at school nurtures good habits that will last little ones throughout their schooling and well into adulthood.
Posture impacts learning
You may be asking yourself, why is ergonomics important? Tablets, laptops and smartphones are ubiquitous these days, and that means that even children are being heavily affected by the ergonomic challenges of the digital age. Whether it’s for homework, gaming, or just chatting with their friends, kids are spending more and more time in front of a computer screen. But why is computer ergonomics important? Sitting incorrectly or for long periods of time can be detrimental to back health, and this is true for children as well, so it’s important to make sure kids are sitting correctly throughout their growth and development.
“Sitting correctly” may sound crazy, but children spend 85% of their school day seated, which translates to countless hour. If a child spends so much time sitting at a computer the wrong way, he or she can develop some bad habits that can lead to orthopaedic issues in the present and later on in life. In fact, poor posture can affect bone and muscle development and has been linked to conditions including postural kyphosis, scoliosis, lordosis, and back pain.
Naturally, comfort fosters concentration. Being uncomfortable or in pain at school or while working at home hinders children’s ability to focus. Ensuring an ergonomic environment not only results in good posture and fends off future issues, but also promotes learning.
Embracing correct posture with the help of ergonomic desk chairs for kids, backpack and laptop ergonomics and ensuring regular breaks is essential for ensuring ergonomics at home and ultimately creating healthier, happier children.
Height and ergonomics for kids
Ergonomics, especially children’s ergonomics is not one size fits all. The obvious challenge when it comes to ergonomics for children is the fact they are constantly growing. This problem is relatively easily addressed at home with flexible furniture such as adjustable desks and desk chairs for kids which are specifically designed to accommodate growing bodies.
But allowing for this is even trickier in a classroom setting, where children vary in height and build even if they are the same age. Kids that are too tall or too short to sit at their desks comfortably struggle to participate and absorb what they’re learning. In a perfect world, accommodating height in classroom ergonomics would involve adjustable chairs and desks, but there are some other ergonomic considerations that are more accessible both at school and at home.
Backpack ergonomics for kids
- Use both straps when carrying the backpack
- Remove the backpack while waiting for the bus or for class
- Ensure the backpack never weighs more than 10% of the wearer’s bodyweight
Laptop ergonomics for kids
Screentime and health
- Incorporating unplugged time into the home’s routine around dinner time and bedtime
- Establishing tech-free zones like the bathroom, dining room, and kitchen
- Encouraging hobbies and activities that don’t require technology
- Setting a timer for screen-free breaks every 30-45 minutes and encouraging stretches, walking, and hydrating during these breaks
Ergonomic laptop setup
Strengthening exercises for good posture
- Prone alternate arm and leg raises
- Shoulder blade squeezes
- Chest stretches
Self-help with massage balls for tight muscles
Ergonomic furniture and desks for kids
Ergonomic chairs for children
- A 90-degree angle between the back and thighs.
- A 90-degree angle at the knees.
- Feet flat on the floor or footrest, creating a 90-degree angle to the shins.
Ergonomic desks for kids
Ergonomics for kids: Conclusion
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