Why is your child in a slump after school? Computer ergonomics even more important for students

In households with elementary age students, computer use is a focal point for parents. Yet how children are seated at the computer takes a literal backseat to what students are viewing on the computer screen. While both merit concern, how your child sits at the computer can have lasting negative impacts.
“Chiropractors are treating more young patients suffering from the effects of working at computer stations that are either designed for adults or poorly designed for children,” said Dr. Michael Gottfried, president of the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island and chiropractic physician at Aquidneck Chiropractic in Middletown, Rhode Island. “With more than 70 percent of elementary school children using computers for schoolwork, parents really need to literally have their children’s backs.”
To reduce the possibility of your child suffering painful and possibly disabling injuries, Gottfried recommends several precautionary measures. First, if children and adults in your home share the same computer workstation, make sure that it can be modified for each child's use. For instance, position the computer monitor so that the top of the screen is at or below the child's eye level.
Second, make sure the chair at the workstation fits the child correctly. This can be achieved by placing an ergonomic back cushion, pillow or a rolled-up towel behind the small of the child's back for added support.
Finally, your child's knees should be positioned at an approximate 90- to 130-degree angle. This can be accomplished by placing a foot rest, stool or similar object underneath his/her feet.
“The length of time your child spends at the computer should be monitored for a number of reasons. For their posture’s sake, make sure they are taking periodic breaks—at least once an hour—to stretch,” said Gottfried. “Also, don’t assume the computer stations at your child’s school are ergonomically sound and fitted to people their size. Ask questions, see for yourself. Posture during their developmental years is incredibly important, particularly at school where you cannot monitor them.”
As one of the oldest and largest chiropractic associations in the country, the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island regularly presents at elementary schools to discuss ergonomics at the computer and safe backpack use. To contact a chiropractor for a presentation, you can contact
The Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island (401) 207-0700 or visit www.RIchiro.org.

About Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island (CSRI)

Founded in 1918, CSRI is one of the oldest chiropractic associations in the United States and represents more than 25 percent of the chiropractic physicians in the Ocean State. In addition to providing a regional voice for chiropractors in the business and legislative arenas, CSRI also helps educate the general public on the benefits of chiropractic. Those all-natural benefits can include relief from headaches, asthma, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel, colic, and stress, just to name a few. Olympic ski champion Picabo Street, NFL legend Jerry Rice and Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman are but a few notable celebrities who have embraced chiropractic.

The Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island is located at 1272 West Main Road, Building 2, Middletown, RI 02842. For more information, call (401) 207-0700 or visit www.RIchiro.org.

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