How to set up a healthy study space for your child?
The market is brimming with furniture designed to make remote learning easy for children – choosing the right ones is, therefore, a very difficult task. Together with physiotherapists from RehaTrainer we point out what to look for in order to create a study space that ensures continued wellbeing, comfort, and proper development for your child. Let’s not forget that children spend many hours sitting at school, followed by some more (sitting) time spent studying at home. Such a long time spent in a wrong sitting position can cause discomfort and lead to numerous postural defects. So what should we pay attention to?
Adjusting the seat’s height and the desktop’s height to your child’s height
To ensure your child enjoys a healthy sitting position, the height of the seat should be aligned with the height of the desktop, and both heights should be adjusted to the child’s height, so that:
The above rules set out the proper way for a child to sit at a desk. Please remember not to ask the child to sit too straight – do not force it. It’s best for the child to gradually get used to the correct position and develop the habit of sitting upright, one step at a time. Various devices may be of help here – such as SpiderMeds, which help turn correct posture into a habit rather than forcefully straighten the back.
ATTENTION: If the chair seat is too low in relation to the desktop, the child's elbows will be lower than the desktop, and this in turn will put pressure on the forearms. If, on the other hand, the elbows are above the desktop, then extra pressure will be put on the wrists and hands.
A properly shaped chair seat
A chair seat should support the buttocks and thighs. Therefore, it is important for the child's hips to remain tucked to the very end of the seat. Another thing to bear in mind is to keep the front edge of the seat curved slightly downwards and towards the floor. There should be a 2-3 cm gap between the edge of the seat and the kneepit (located at the back of the knee joint) so as not to constrict the blood vessels and put pressure on the nerves. If the seat is not shaped that way, then you’ll need to look for a seat pillow to provide the appropriate downwards curve. In addition, such pillows are shaped in a way designed to properly position the child's pelvis and legs, relieve the tailbone, and provide increased comfort.
ATTENTION: The lack of a downwards curve at the front edge of the seat constricts blood vessels.
In conclusion, what to pay attention to when setting up your child’s study space and looking for a desk and a chair?
Setting the computer screen
If your child sits in front of a computer screen please pay extra attention to how the screen is set. What is the correct screen positioning?
A screen positioned in this way will guarantee the child does not have to bow their head to look at the screen. They can thus maintain a natural, i.e. straight position of the head, which increases the comfort and reduces the tension in the neck and nape area. Laptop stands and screens that allow for the natural head position to be maintained will prove useful here. When making use of a laptop stand , an external keyboard should also be used.
ATTENTION: The correct, i.e. straight position of the head in relation to the screen prevents musculoskeletal pain in the neck and nape area, reduces the tension in the shoulders, and activates core muscles.
If your child uses an external mouse, then make sure to encourage them to use their non-dominant hand to do so with – this acts as extra brain stimulation and relieves the dominant hand.
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