Like any values parents want to ingrain in their kids, they have to start them from young. The same thing goes for proper sitting posture. This article covers the ideal sitting posture ergonomics for your child and also how to arrange their desk and chair in a way to reinforce said ergonomics.
Q: What is the Correct Sitting Posture for Children?
The proper sitting posture for children and adults are not at all that different. Essentially, the first thing to do is to avoid them being in a stooped or hunched position. It is important that they keep their backs straight as often as possible and utilize the backrest of their chair. Another mistake is that children, as well as adults, tend to lean over their desks or gadgets, resulting in their neck being rounded.
Ideally, the proper sitting posture for kids to follow is the ‘90-90-90 degrees rule’.
Following this guideline, their spine would be straight and make a 90 degree angle to their thighs, which are resting flat on their seats. Then their knees would be perpendicular to their thighs. Lastly their feet would be resting flat on the floor, making another right angle to their shins
However, please do note that being children, it is only normal for them to occasionally be restless and fidgety, and therefore deviate from the proper sitting posture. In the midst of this, it is crucial to just educate them not to hunch or slouch all the time.
Q: Why is it important to teach your kids good posture?
Most of our bones in the body fully ossify (form) when we reach adulthood. Children’s bones are vulnerable to any sort of trauma as they are still soft. Therefore, proper posture has to be practiced to maintain good alignment in the spine whereas bad posture can result in chronic or permanent problems such as kyphosis and scoliosis.
Furthermore, malalignment of the spine can lead to permanent changes like imbalanced walking or running. Improper posture has been associated with health issues such as digestive problems, heart disease and varicose veins in the future. On a side note, bad posture increases the risk against musculoskeletal pain and injury.
The sooner you instill good posture habits in your child the better for it is much harder to make in a habit your child when their older. After all, most adults with poor posture started out as kids not practicing good posture.
Q: What is the Benefit of a Height Adjustable Desk for Children?
On average, a kid can grow up to 2.5 inches a year, so it will be wise for the child to have a desk with adjustable height all in the name of a properly ergonomic workstation.
When sitting at a desk too high, the child would have to resort to placing his or her arms in an awkward and stressed position. In a situation where they are reading, this may also mean that the child is reading with the book too close to the face, leading to strained and fatigued eyes.
What’s worse than a desk too high is a desk that is too low. In this position, the child forced to carry about his or her business in a hunched position whether its reading, writing or working on a computer. This is one of the main factors that causes chronic neck and back pain later in life.
Hopefully the benefits of getting a height adjustable desk for your child’s ergonomics needs is clearer now. The beauty of it is that it not only serves as an ergonomical workstation for your child, but also ensures you that you would not have to get them a new desk everytime they grow a bit bigger.
Q: How Should I adjust my Kids’ Desk and Chair for Optimal Ergonomics?
The key point to focus on when adjusting the table is the height. To reiterate what was said earlier, it should not be too high that the child’s hands would have to rest upon it awkwardly and not too low that will make them fall into the habit of slouching over.
The same goes for height of the chair too. If it is too high, their feet will not be able to rest evenly on the ground, putting the back of their thigh under unnecessary pressure. On the other hand, if the chair is too low, this puts the child’s legs in an awkward resting position, again placing unnecessary strain this time on their knee joints.
The ultimate goal when creating a workstation for your child is to ensure that:
- The child’s back and neck is straight all the time with little hunching over
- The child’s elbow is at a 90-110 open angel with the forearms rested on the table, especially when typing.
- The childs feet are fully touching the ground.
To achieve the goals stated above, start with adjusting the height of the chair so that your childs feet are touching the ground. Then adjust the desk to optimum height where your child can rest his or her forearms on the desktop whilst maintaining a 90 degree angle or slightly past that so that their forearms are relatively parallel to the table when working. This position lays off any unnecessary strain on their wrists and help keep them in a neutral position to the keyboard.
Q: What are the Benefits of a Desktop that Tilts?
An additional note, a great feature to have at your child’s workstation is a desk that tilts. With this feature, your child is inclined to lean over less while working at the desk as it brings the surface closer to them.
Hunching over happens in compensation for the furniture or equipmen’s inadequate ergonomical structure. Therefore to avoid that happening, having an inclined desk reduces the likelihood of them having to slouch or hunch over. In this position, they are nudged towards straightening their spine and using the chair backrest.
Having a tilted desk in their workstation promotes healthier positioning of the hands when carrying out certain activities that require fine motor skills such as drawing or simply just holding a pen or marker when writing. With this component they can fully rest their upper limbs wihtout having to place any stress or strain on the shoulder and neck muscles over time.
To avoid any confusion, the angled desk position should only be maintained for short amount of time when they are reading or writing, but should be changed to a flat surface parallel to the floor when working and especially typing on the computer to prevent strain of the wrist.