Ergonomics for Children
The best posture advice for your children.
Everything here has been tested and approved by our team of experts and has been used by our company founder's children throughout their lives.
We love helping: Call for advice on: 0207 935 9120
Can we be candid here? Children don't sit like adults.
Our research shows that Children above 8 are starting to be slumped and passive, and it can become a habit... just as it has for most of our adult customers with back pain.
NB There are still a few old voices out there that preach conventional ergonomics for children. We've found their theories are ineffective in practice for children... and we've supplied over 100.000 children's chairs to rave reviews.
People used to believe: Always work in the Neutral Posture.
The modern approach: Move! Move move move. Movement and variety are so much more important that "perfect posture"
Upper body posture
What the old school methods told us: Back supported by chair (sitting back in chair with back >90 and well supported)
Chair seat should not press behind the knees
What the old school methods told us: Feet firmly on a surface for support (floor/footrest)
Head balanced on neck (not tilted back or too far forwards)
What the old school methods told us: Popliteal angle > 90° (i.e. angle behind the knees should be open)
Upper arms close to body and relaxed (not abducted to the side or flexed forward)
What the old school methods told us: Elbow angle > 90° (forearm below horizontal) - Wrist neutral (<15°) (wrist/hand level with forearm)
What the old school methods told us: Organize a Normal Work Area - The normal work area is the space that can easily be reached by your child while s/he is sitting comfortably in the chair without her/him having to unduly bend or twist their body. Bring those items that your child uses most while working at the computer within this normal work area. If you child types from a text document or book, make sure that this is placed in a document holder and that it is as close to the screen as you can get it so that your child doesn't have to twist her/his head unnecessarily.
What we now know to be true: Check the Computer Screen Position
The computer screen should be positioned so that your child can comfortably view the screen without having to noticeably tilt her/his neck backwards or forwards. If the screen is too high, your child's neck will be tipped backwards, and if it is too low it will be bent forwards. You should change the height and angle of the screen to avoid these postures.
What the old school methods tell us: Workstation furniture and equipment
What the old school methods tell us: a comfortable chair - use a height-adjustable chair with a comfortable seat and good back support
What we now know to be true: Use a stable desk/worksurface - make sure that your child is working with a computer that is placed on a stable work surface. Use a negative slope/tilt-down keyboard system for a height-adjustable keyboard/mouse platform check the fit of the keyboard and mouse to the size of your child's hands. If your child has small hands then consider using a smaller keyboard for a better fit.
What the old school methods told us: Glare-free screen -
What we now know to be true: Check that the computer screen is free from glare spots (bright lights). To do this you may have to reposition the screen or adjust the room lighting. Make sure that there is sufficient light on any paper documents that your child is reading by using a freestanding adjustable brightness task light.
What we now know to be true: Manage computer use time
The risks of any postural problems associated with computer use depend upon the length of time that your child uses the computer without taking a rest break and doing something else. You can "watch the clock" to regulate your child's computer use
Although children have the same needs as adults when it comes to keyboarding, they also have some unique needs:
What we now know to be true: Children and young adults with small hands may find that the smaller laptop keyboard is easier to use than a regular keyboard. Those with larger hands may find it uncomfortable. The basics shown for desktop computers above, also apply to laptop use ...
If your hands are large and using the laptop keyboard is uncomfortable, plug in a regular keyboard. You can also plug in a regular mouse.
Some students will find that looking down at the laptop screen is comfortable while others may find that it bothers their neck. If it bothers you, when you can, plug in a regular monitor and place it so that the top of the screen is at or below eye level.
Laptops are great for allowing you to change position...you don't always have to sit at a desk but keep the basics, above, in mind.