Child Desk Ergonomics in a Virtual Era
Maintaining Proper Posture During Covid-19
Most of us have had our work, home, and social life turned upside down during this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our typical day to day activities have been altered for the foreseeable future.
But nobody feels these changes more than our children who are experiencing at least a part time retreat from their social lives, team sports, and instead are being thrown into a world of virtual learning. Most adults will adapt and move on from this year (hopefully), but this pandemic could take a toll out on our children that could have lasting psychological and physiological effects for years to come.
Standing desks are the best option as long as your child will stand up straight with elbows at a 90-degree angle to their keyboard and mouse but if that isn’t feasible, here are some tips for desk positioning that may be helpful.
The diagram shows that your feet should be flat on the floor but since many children can’t do that you will want rig something up or purchase a footrest so your child can sit comfortably. This will help reduce the strain on the lower back muscles.
It would be wise to purchase an actual monitor to hook up to the laptop. This way the monitor can be set up with the top of the screen positioned at eye level allowing for better posture. If you don’t want to purchase a monitor, you can get a keyboard to hook up to the laptop and elevate the laptop screen to eye level instead.
If a younger child is using a mouse, a travel mouse is a smaller and will be a better fit causing less strain on their small hand.
The student should take a break from their desk position approximately every 30 minutes or so to move around, do some simple exercises, take a deep breath and look out a window or across the room as far as they can (this works towards reducing stress and resting the eyes).
After or during a day of virtual learning, or any day for that matter, it is important to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. This will allow them to decompress from their day, get fresh air, and get blood pumping to those muscles.
No matter what, this isn’t a perfect situation to be in but using some of these tips can make a difference in the health of our children as we crawl out of this year.