We adults already know that ergonomics is beneficial for our bodies, minds, and spirits. We have learned from published research and our own experiences about the importance of proper posture, effective lighting, and ergonomic furniture. Many of us, however, have not paused to consider how our children can benefit from ergonomics. The fact is that they can and do benefit even more than we do. We just need to find a way to make ergonomics fun and exciting for them and they will do the rest!
Children benefit from ergonomics in 4 major ways: long-term health, movement, lighting, and safety.
Ergonomics can be defined as how an environment supports the natural movement of those who occupy it. Because of this, it is essential for children. Kids need movement. And they need fun. As they move, the neuro-pathways in their brains connect. And an ergonomic environment that empowers their natural movements is extremely beneficial to their development. Teaching and training will be much more effective if you make it fun for them as well as educate them as to why this is so very important.
Let’s make it fun for kids to stay healthy!
One of the best gifts you can give your children is teaching them to touch type. This gift will last a lifetime. The earlier you start, the better. Touch typing will minimize neck and shoulder issues over time.
Posture: The longer kids sit at a chair, whether it is for gaming, buddy interaction, or writing, the more time their backs are molded to whatever they sit on. Essentially, a variety of good sitting and standing places that fit their body will keep their bodies flexible and working for their many years of technology ahead.
Sitting: Kids need to sit comfortably on a chair that has an upright solid back support, with legs extended no more than two to four finger lengths from the back of the knee to the end of the chair. There are chairs with shorter seat depth that will make a difference.
Feet: When seated, children’s feet should be in front of the seat and placed flat on the floor. If a child’s legs are dangling, feet should be placed on an object such as a phone book, or step stool that is high enough to get their hips level with their knees and wide enough for their feet to be flat and fully rested on the platform.
Shoulders and Arms: Shoulders and arms should be relaxed. Elbows should be at a 90-degree angle to the body. The mouse should be to the right or left of the keyboard.
Wrists: Wrists should be in a neutral position, not bent up or down and level with elbows.