Study up on Desks

Between school, travel, homework, and the inevitable computer games, studies have shown that children sometimes sit for up to 7.5 hours a day. Whilst you can’t control where and how they sit at school or on the bus, there is plenty you can do to ensure good posture while they study and play at home.

Children’s bodies are much more malleable than adults. Poor posture during childhood and the teen years can create problems both now and in the future. Some immediate results of poor posture include:

  • decreased core stability
  • discomfort and pain in the lower back, neck and shoulders
  • greater difficulty in fine motor tasks
  • increased fatigue
  • reduced ability to concentrate, and
  • headaches

Selecting the right desk and chair can help alleviate many or all of these symptoms and the key word in furniture for children and teens is adjustability.

When looking at chairs, try and find one that has both an adjustable seat height and adjustable back, so that your child’s lumbar region is supported, and the chair ‘grows’ with the child. It should be easily adjustable by the child.

Desks are a little more difficult, but there are some key things to look for:

  • Adjustability – again, the desk should ‘grow’ with the child. But it is also good to have adjustable sections on the desk. For instance, when writing it is important that the desktop is slightly higher than elbow level, but for computer tasks or using a keyboard, it should be slightly lower than elbow height. Consider a desk with a surface that can be sloped or tilted, as this provides the ideal angle for writing, especially in the early years of school.
  • Space – it is hard to maintain good posture in a cramped and cluttered workspace, so sufficient space for the varied tasks your child is doing is important
  • Storage – a clear workspace will help your child maintain posture, so having somewhere to store items that a not in use – pencils, rulers, spare paper etc is important.

In addition to the desk you may consider aids such as screen and laptop raisers to ensure the neck is not bent. Computer screens should be at eye level and about an arms length from your eyes. Footrests will support feet and legs helping with bloodflow, especially if the childs feet don’t reach the floor.

With a little thoughtful planning you can provide your child up a study area that will see them through school and help them develop good posture for life.

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