For quite a while now focus has been put on teaching children about living healthy, active lifestyles. They are encouraged to eat a better mix of foods, exercise regularly and be aware of their physical and mental health a lot more than they ever have been before. And the good news…. It appears to be working.
This is thanks in the most part to the work of teachers and the education system as a whole. It has been a key part of the primary education syllabus for over 15 years now and it has firmly rooted itself into the minds of today’s youth. But isn’t it funny that the classroom where all this is taught is one of the worst places for healthy ergonomics? Students are expected to sit still for long periods of time in quite often a one size fits all chair and desk arrangement. This can lead to dis-comfort, back pain, neck pain, and an inability to concentrate on their work.
Sapna Cheryan from the University of Washington recently conducted a survey on the adequacy of classroom learning, “U.S. students spend an average of 11,700 hours of their lives in classrooms from kindergarten to senior year of high school and another 400 hours in classrooms in college. But emerging research shows that many of these spaces are physically inadequate for learning and others offer subtle but powerful psychological cues that discourage or inhibit particular students.”
Although the initial investment of an ergonomic classroom environment can seem daunting there are several things you can do to help improve the experience for pupils without spending a small fortune on state of the art sit – stand workstations.
One of the easiest changes you can make is to swap the hard plastic classroom chairs for adjustable office chairs. That way, children of all sizes and shapes will be able to very easily adjust their seating position to keep their feet flat on the floor and arms above the desk. This shouldn’t have much of an impact on lesson time either, most office chairs can quickly be moved up and down with just the pull of a lever.
Another easy way to improve classroom ergonomics is with the implementation of monitor arms like the ErgoMounts products listed at the bottom of the page. The gas assisted arms offer finger touch adjustment allowing screens to be positioned almost anywhere within a 3D space and without the need of tools or technical knowhow. They can very easily be pulled out to a comfortable viewing angle when needed and then pushed back out of the way of the working area when no longer in use.
Education is one of the most important stages in any person’s life and that is why it is crucial we begin to implement sustainable ergonomic practices from the very begining to give everybody the best chances of living a healthy, happy life.