Many children are learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As children adjust to their new workspace, it’s important to make sure they have a comfortable setup.
“In a little tiny person, we think, ‘Oh, they’re made of rubber, they’re OK. We can throw them in these chairs, they can slouch -- they’re young, they can deal with it.’ When, in fact, this is the most important time in their lives to be structurally aware of keeping that bio flow in check,” said Chad Adams, DC, a chiropractor at Cleveland Clinic.
Adams said bad posture can have negative long-term effects for a child.
So what can parents do to help avoid it? If your child has to sit in an adult chair, he suggests adding some pillows and a footstool so they’re not hunched over with their feet dangling.
He said the computer monitor should be at eye level and their arms at a 90-degree angle when using a keyboard. If they’re using a laptop, he recommends getting an external keyboard, which can help keep wrists and elbows in the right position.
They should also be taking little breaks to stretch throughout the day.
“Rather than just looking side to side, now I am going to draw big circles, as big of circles as I can, with my neck and my arms and my wrists and fingers,” Adams said. “I am going to try to include every single part of me. And you can absolutely do that in as little as 30 seconds.”
He said parents should also be paying attention to their child’s behavior. Most times, they’ll tell you if they’re uncomfortable. But if they’re slouching a lot or shifting around, that’s probably a sign they need more support from their chair.