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School Ergonomics and Its Benefits

Learning is Enhanced in a Comfortable Environment

Many people don’t think about ergonomics when they consider their school furniture choices.  They just buy the furniture that will fit in the classroom and that might be the least expensive. Thinking about ergonomics, however, is very important. The school chairs that student use can make a big difference in their comfort level and their ability to focus. The school desks, as well, allow the kids to be organized and ready for their day – or to feel cramped and uncomfortable.

It’s certainly worthwhile, if a school is starting out with new furniture, to have these ideas in mind and to think about these considerations. The ergonomics in the school environment are very important and can make quite a difference in the learning environment.


Computer Desk Ergonomics

sitting into

The diagram above and this one (at are a brilliant way to see how you should be sitting at the computer table. This is true for school desks as much as it is for computer desks at home. Learning how to sit properly has a large impact on your feeling during the day and on your productivity. Follow this diagram to better health while working at a desk.

Ergonomics & Wellness

Check out this great article on the connections between safety and wellness. We’ve recently launched an all new…

— The Back School (@thebackschool) December 30, 2013

Ergonomics at a Glance

Here is a great video on healthy ergonomics for laptop, computer and computer chair use.

Stand and Deliver

standingdeskMost school systems don’t consider this, but the traditional school desks aren’t the only option for the classroom. More and more schools are looking into other alternatives which include standing desks, exercise balls for sitting and other choices.

The standing desk is quite an interesting option, as it allows children more movement and ability to get out their energy in the course of the day. These desks allow children to work at a work platform, but one that is their height. So, rather than sitting all day, they are standing behind the desk. Most people can’t use this all day, so it might be important to have a sitting option for the children as well. But by giving them both choices, they can really make themselves more comfortable and productive in the course of the day.

Exercise balls are also an interesting way to sit at a desk. They help to cushion the back and to allow for movement and the release of energy in the course of the day. Of course, they can be distracting and the child might find himself playing more than concentrating, but this is something that needs to be worked on and discussed.

Laptop Ergonomics


Use Your Laptop Ergonomically

Many people don’t realize that their laptops could be hurting their backs. Laptops often cause us to lean over in order to get our work done and this can negatively impact your back. Here are some tips for sitting at school desks and saving your back at the same time.

If you use the laptop on the couch instead of with classroom furniture, make sure that you take frequent breaks and try to have your back straight and supported on a cushion. To relieve the muscle tension in your neck you should use a chair that allows your back to be straight. Relax your neck and keep it aligned with your back and try to have the top of the screen at eye level. To keep the muscles in your arms from feeling tension, use a separate keyboard and mouse when working and keep your arms and forearms at a 90 degree angle.

If kids are using the laptop try to have them keep their backs straight and supported by a cushion and try to make sure the screen is at eye level. Use a separate keyboard and mouse and create a footrest for the child depending on how small they are.

Great Tips for Ergonomic Safety

Getting the Right Office Chair


Pick Your Office Chair Wisely

Both children who sit for the entire day and adults who sit on office chairs all day long need to think about the type of chair that they use. In the office, there are many recommendations for office chairs. The seat height should be adjusted to a range of 420-500mm. The seat edge should be rounded so that it minimizes the pressure under the thighs.

The seat pan should actually tilt forward and backwards by about 5 degrees and the seat base should swivel and have five or more castors for stability.

The backrest should be adjustable and about 500mm in height. If the seat and backrest don’t adjust by themselves, the angle between them should be about 105 degrees. While most people wouldn’t think about the upholstery, the upholstery material should be something that doesn’t slide or sweat.

Footrests are actually very important for shorter people. The footrest should be a minimum of 450mm in length by 350mm in width. Certainly, most classroom furniture doesn’t include office chairs, but these specs are important for the teacher’s desk or for kids who work in chairs of this sort at home.

Backpack Ergonomics


Getting the right backpack makes a big difference

When we think about ergonomics, many of us think about chairs and tables. We don’t necessarily think about backpacks, but these make a huge difference in the ergonomics of a child. The backpack can easily influence the child’s posture and back more than anything else. Here are some important suggestions for your child’s backpack:

The straps on the pack should be wide and padded.

Add a waist belt to the backpack if your child tends to carry a lot of weight.

Make sure both straps are actually worn because this will distribute the weight.

If you have a backpack that has a number of compartments, this can better distribute the weight. Put the heavier items closer to the back and make sure that any pointy or bulky items aren’t resting against the back.

The backpack should hang below the shoulders and rest on the hips and pelvis.
Try to encourage your child to leave some things at home or at school. There is no reason to carry everything that you own in your backpack.

Encourage the school to give your children two sets up textbooks so that one can be left at school and one can be used at home. This will keep them from carrying very heavy items back and forth.