Take a Break From Sitting

It seems that kids have more and more homework, and from an earlier age. Though we are taught to “sit still” from an even earlier age, that wasn’t really how the human body was designed, especially for long periods of time.

This is particularly important for teenagers, who are in class for several hours each day, sitting, listening and taking notes. Then they go to the library or their room and sit for a few more hours doing homework and studying.

Even if they take breaks for social networking, video games or texting with friends, they are probably still sitting. And a break for family dinner calls for, you guessed it… more sitting.

Though you can’t alleviate the figurative pain your children feel at the prospect of several hours of homework and studying each night, you can take steps to make sure they don’t suffer literal pain, in the form of neck and back aches or sore wrists and fingers.

Here are tips to help your kids stay comfortable as they study at home.

  • Take frequent breaks; walk around and stretch.

  • Use proper workstation ergonomics — including correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing and good desk posture.

    • People with ergonomic adjustable desks and chairs experience less body aches because all the necessary supports are present, such as arm, back, lumbar, and neck support.

    • Height-adjustable furniture is an important element of a study nook for still-developing adolescents.

    • Consider a standing workstation for a teenager’s room.

    • There is a proper way to sit so that the body remains active and engaged, in proper alignment.

      • Awareness of neutral body positioning — a comfortable working posture in which joints are naturally aligned — reduces stress and strain on the muscles, tendons, and skeletal system and reduces the risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder.

      • Sit up straight with shoulders back.

      • Knees should be at 90-degree angle.

      • Make sure feet are flat on the ground.

Healthy habits start in the home. Take a few moments a day to remind yourself and your kids of the importance of taking breaks and keeping active.