What should your child’s homework set-up look like to promote good posture and help prevent neck pain, back pain, and headaches?
#1- Chair and Desk
Your chair should have armrests and an adjustable seat height, seat angle, and back support. If your chair doesn’t have those functions, you can place a cushion under your knees or add a rolled-up towel against your low back to support the spine. Elbows should be at a 90-degree angle and wrists should remain in line with forearms.
Ideally your hips and knees should be at a 90–120-degree angle, and feet should be resting on the floor. If the chair is too tall, place an item under your feet for support (such as a box, block, or foot stool).
This is where you can run into trouble… when using a laptop, you are likely looking down the entire time you are working. Try to keep the computer screen 18-28 inches from your eyes, and at eye height. If you are using a laptop, place it on a box or a few books and then use a separate keyboard and mouse.
Last but certainly not least, make sure you are moving! Our bodies like to move and require movement breaks when sitting for a long periods of time. Set a timer and take a movement break every 20-30 minutes (get up, stand, and do some stretches). This would be a great time to do any exercises your physiotherapist or chiropractor might have given you 😉
By: Maddie Fyfe, Registered Physiotherapist
Kuchta G, Davidson I, Petty RE. Occupational and Physical Therapy for Children with Rheumatic Diseases: A Clinical Handbook. Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing; 2008.