Sitting Right from the Start
Good Computer Ergonomics for Children
By Rick Allen, DC
At least 70 percent of America's 30 million elementary school students use computers. As a result of this increased usage, doctors of chiropractic are treating more young patients suffering from the effects of working at computer station the are either designed for adults or poorly designed for children. Many children are already suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic pain in the hands, back, neck and shoulders. These are harmful physical effects that can last a life-time.
What Can You Do?
- Position the computer monitor so the top of the screen is at the child's eye level.
- Make sure the chair at the workstation fits the child correctly. A back cushion, small pillow, or rolled-up towel can be placed in the small of the child's back for added support.
- Wrists should be in a neutral position while typing or using the mouse.
- The child's knees should be positioned at a right angle. If necessary, use a footrest.
- Reduce eyestrain by making sure there is adequate lighting and no glare on the screen.
- Limit your child's time at the computer -- no more than _ hour without a break.
- Have your child take stretch breaks every 15 minutes -- Ask Dr. Allen for details.
- Your child's muscles need adequate hydration to work properly and avoid injury -- four 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Soda, juices and other sweet drinks are not a substitute.
- Urge your child's school or PTA officials to provide education on correct computer ergonomics and to install ergonomically correct workstations.
- Ask Dr. Allen for further information. He would be happy to come to your child's school to provide ergonomic evaluation and education. Chiropractic care can help alleviate your child's pain and help prevent further injury.
Thanks to the American Chiropractic Association for background information.Features of an Anatomically Friendly PC Station
- Sufficient indirect lighting to prevent eyestrain and glare
- Monitor at eyelevel to prevent hunching over
- Keyboard at elbow height for arms and shoulder alignment
- Padding in front of keyboard for wrist alignment and relaxation
- Adjustable seatback support for lower back
- Footrest for comfort and stability
Dr. Rick Allen is a chiropractor, massage therapist and dance student who splits his time between Portland, Oregon and Trout Lake Washington. Dr. Rick welcomes your questions and suggestions for future articles. However, he cannot make specific diagnoses or treatment recommendations unless you visit him in person. He can be reached by phone at 503-257-1324 in Portland, 509-395-0024 in Trout Lake, or toll free at 1-888-247-3248, email or on the World Wide Web: www.CascadeWellnessClinic.com
DISCLAIMER: The information included in this website is meant to encourage thinking concerning choices of care for and insight pertaining to possible causes of various problems. It is not a prescription for or diagnosis of any disease or condition. Suggestions are based on the assumption by the writer that a thorough examination was done previously and the reader is under care by a healthcare professional. This information is not a substitute for a live doctor.
© Dr. Rick Allen
Cascade Wellness Clinic