This is a fascinating and helpful video that discusses workplace injuries and how to prevent them. Certainly, from the classroom furniture that students use to the office desks that adults utilize, there are safety concerns at every stage. And at every stage there are key ways to take care of your body and to ensure safety while you’re doing your classroom or your job. Learn with these tips about keeping yourself and your children safe in the classroom and as part of the workforce.
Most 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.
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.
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.
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.