Arranging a Child’s Computer Station for Good Posture
We’ve discussed computer use for ourselves, but how about our children? We need to see to it that they are taking care of their bodies as they use technology as well. The earlier good habits are developed, the better.
The most important aspects of computer posture that we need to be aware of, no matter the child’s age, are these things:
- The monitor needs to be at an appropriate height.
- The child’s head and neck need to be balanced on their spine.
- Their shoulders and arms should remain relaxed, not hunched up.
- The hands and wrists should be in a straight line, parallel to the floor. (Ideally, the girl in the photo should be sitting a little higher so her elbows are not resting on the table.)
- Legs should remain free, with the feet resting on a footstool that allows their feet to rest comfortably rather than hanging down.
Since you and your child may be using the same workstation at home, it is best to find an arrangement that allows both of you to use it comfortably with only small adjustments. The goal for children, just as adults, is to keep the body is a neutral position as much as possible.
For a 6-year-old:
- A child-sized desk is best, if possible, at this age.
- Two seat cushions if he is using an adult-sized chair—one to sit on to bring him up to the proper height, and another to support his back in an upright position.
- An adjustable keyboard tray that will keep his arms at the right height.
- A foot rest for his feet
- A child-sized keyboard so that he does not have to stretch to reach the keys.
For a 10-year-old:
- A child-sized desk would still be best.
- An adult-sized keyboard with a separate mouse is adequate at this point, provided they are at a height which allow his forearms to remain parallel to the ground.
- He may still need something under his feet if he is working at an adult-sized desk.
- Cushions to put him at the proper height may still be necessary.
- A mouse platform will be helpful to keep the mouse closer.
By 12 years of age, an adult desk should be fine. However, all other suggestions for younger children would still apply.
Below are a couple of furniture manufacturers that have furniture with the modifications mentioned.
www.humanscale.com –keyboard trays, mouse platforms, cushions, chairs, etc.
http://www.datadesktech.com/desktop_base.html –child-sized computer keyboards.
As always, let us know if you have any questions or comments. We hope these computer tips have been helpful.