In a time when children spend more time in front of computers as they need to study from home, ergonomic and correct sitting posture is more important than ever! Follow the guidelines by Alan Hedge (a Professor of Ergonomics in Cornell University NY, USA) from below and ensure that your child uses a computer in a comfortable and ergonomically correct way and avoids any postural problems.
Neutral sitting posture
- Good upper body posture (shoulders back but relaxed—not slumping forward over the keyboard, desk or gadget)
- Back supported by chair (sitting back in chair with back 90° angle and well supported)
- Chair seat should not compress behind the knees
- Feet firmly on a surface for support (floor/footrest)
- Head balanced on neck (not tilted back or too far forwards)
- Knees at an angle 90° (i.e. angle behind the knees should be open—don't sit with legs tucked under the chair)
- Upper arms close to body and relaxed
- Elbow angle 90° (forearm below horizontal)
- Wrists neutral
- Bring all the materials your child is using close by, so that he/she does not have to bend or twist to reach something
- Make sure your child doesn't have to twist her or his head unnecessarily
Correct Computer Screen position
- Place the screen so that your child can comfortably view the screen without having to noticeably tilt her or his neck backwards or forwards.
- If the screen is too high, your child's neck will be tipped backwards, and if it is too low, it will be bent forwards – avoid these postures!
- Make sure that there is sufficient light on any paper documents that your child is reading
- Check that the computer screen is free from glare spots (bright lights). To do this, you may have to reposition the screen or adjust the room lighting.
- Computer use time
- The risks of any postural problems associated with computer use depend upon the length of time that your child uses the computer without taking a break and doing something else
- Try to have a break every 20-30 minutes
- Encourage your child to move in various ways (stretch, run, jump, climb)!