In conversation with Brainfeed, Anirudh Gupta, CEO, DCM Group of Schools shares his insights on taking care of postural health of children by maintaining correct ergonomics
In the present era of technology, children are always glued to their screens binge watching web series, playing online games, etc. With the transition to virtual learning due to COVID, the screen time of students has increased even more.
This has led to an increase in health problems faced by children. Many have complained about ear pain and have sighted dryness in eyes. In addition to these problems, certain observations have been made about the way students are attending their online classes. Many have been found to attend these classes while lying on their beds. This not only deteriorates the quality of child’s learning but also amounts to health issues- eye problem because of inappropriate angle and also back pain due to incorrect posture while learning. The survey conducted by Brainfeed itself has shown that more than 66% of students have experienced back pains, headaches, dry eye syndrome, insomnia, etc. as a result of maintaining incorrect ergonomics while online learning.
Hence, it is vital and more so at present times, that students maintain a proper posture while studying. To maintain correct ergonomics while learning at home, it is the responsibility of each stakeholder – parent, student and school to do their bit so that health is not compromised and each student progresses with his learning curve unabatedly.
Measures by Students:
Selection of appropriate Furniture:
- For a sitting desk, make sure there is enough room between your knees and the underside of the desk. Ensure the height allows your arms and hands enough room to type on the keyboard without having to reach too far.
- While standing, do not slouch; keep the computer screen positioned at eye level.
- The chair should be adjustable, allowing sitting comfortably with thighs parallel to the ground. The seat should be adjustable as well, tilting forward and backward.
- The backrest should be adjustable, allowing support for the lower back. Using the proper backrest to support the lumbar curve helps relieve pressure on the back vertebrae.
Optimizing Monitor to Avoid Eye Strain
- Adjust the brightness of the monitor to the lowest level so as to see things more clearly without eye strain.
- The top of the screen should be either at or below eye level.
- Make sure there is at least 20 inches distance between your computer screen and your face.
Adjust Your Workstation Lighting
- Proper lighting is important to optimizing your study space, as lighter environments tend to keep one awake and aware, while darker spaces make us feel dazed.
4. Take Study and Work Breaks for Good Health
- Short and frequent breaks to move around during a study session can be more beneficial than longer, more infrequent breaks
- Break up your sitting time by using the restroom, filling a water bottle, or grabbing a snack.
Measures by Schools
1. The schools should focus on holistic development of children even during virtual classes.
2. There should be a balance between imparting domain specific knowledge and extra-curricular activities.
3. The curriculum at present should be designed in such a manner that students don’t spend much time glued to their screens and focus on self study.
4. Planning of co-scholastic activities that provide students a self paced way to reinforce learning.
Measures by Parents
Model good ergonomic habits
- Set a strong example for your child by adopting and normalizing healthy ergonomic practices at home.
- While using a computer or digital device, maintain an upright posture and take regular breaks
Promote regular breaks and regular hydration
- Encouraging the child to take frequent breaks with exercise and regular stretches every 20 or 30 minutes.
Monitoring the Digital Usage of Child
- With learning having transitioned to virtual mode, it is important that parents keep a track on what their child is viewing on the web.
Providing a Balanced Diet
- It is important that the children maintain a regular intake of nutritious diet.
- Due to COVID, it is even more vital that immunity booster foods should be a regular part of the diet.
Encouraging Physical Activity
- Parents should encourage the children practice Yoga/ Pranayam along with light exercise on regular basis.
- During these precarious times, it is necessary that parents take the lead role and teach their children about basic moral values- such as prayer before and after meals, respecting elders, greeting elders etc.