I’m often asked about the way in which our kids sit or stand or lean or lie when using their mobile devices. It’s a good question because we seem to be using technology more and more. And mobile devices mean we can use them anywhere, which means on the bus, on the floor, at the Dr’s surgery…wherever.
I’m a Doctoral student and a blogger – so I spend a lot of time on a computer, tapping away at the keys. This stuff has become really important to me and it’s crucial to your kids too…
We don’t want our kids to become a generation of twisted, sore and bent adults. So let’s chat briefly about ergonomics.
Our kids do sit slumped on the sofa playing on the iPads and they will want to hunch over their iPod in the car. So what do we do?
I generally go by the Department of Education Guidelines (Victoria) which are a good overview. They’re focused on laptops but from the reading I’ve done, it’s a similar story to guidelines for mobiles devices.
I’ve inserted the document below, just FYI :0)
They talk about Sustained use – as being anything from 30 minutes to an hour
And they discuss Extended use – so anything over an hour.
They don’t specify time limits – which I think is smart.
If ICT is a tool for learning – and only one of many tools at their disposal – then our kids need to use them when they are necessary. So putting time limits on things is really tricky. I think it’s actually their posture as they use these tools that’s the concern here.
Of course there’s the possibility that kids can become addicted and almost obsessed with computers and mobile devices – that’s when I’d be putting limits in place. But for your average child, their educational use of technology should be balanced with what they need to learn and do…
The main points that I suggest to teachers area:
- Regular breaks – stand up every 30 minutes. Look at a distant point, away from the screen.
- Sit up straight – no kneeling or lying down
- Legs straight – don’t cross your legs or sit on your feet, your back and hips should be straight
- Try to use more than one tool – assuming you’ve got more than one! – So the iPad for a bit then the laptop. This forces your posture to change.
- If you’re working at a desk or table: you elbows should be at right angles and you should be almost looking down slightly at your screen.
It’s not easy – I know from experience! SO have a look at these ‘guidelines’ and see what you think you can modify at your house.
Is there someone in your family or group of friends who needs to know about this? Feel free to share this post – there’s buttons below.
Do you have computer-sore-neck problems? How do you manage it?