SEATTLE - With school just around the corner, the transition from the classroom to in-home learning is going to be a reality for most students and parents. Ergonomic experts say proper e-learning environment is key to success.
Celeste McLaughlin with Solutions Northwest in Seattle advises a desk or surface and chair that fit the child. The work surface should be a little below elbow height and make sure your child's feet don't dangle off the chair.
Some simple at-home solutions include using a footstool below the desk and propping the child up with household items like cushions or towels.
Raise your laptop to eye-level and hook up an external keyboard and mouse to eliminate laptop hunch or tech crunch postures.
"It hurts you neck and your upper back. Doing it all day, you're going to have problems, long term problems, so what you want to do, if you're using a laptop, put something under that laptop so you can use it as a monitor. It can be paper, game boxes, whatever you have. You can build something fun with your kid," said McLaughlin.
Maintaining proper headphone volume can also keep your child from leaning into their monitor. Also, be mindful of your child's background during virtual classes. Their bedroom is their personal space and if they're embarrassed about what people can see, they'll make awkward postures to hide their background. A solution can be to hang a blanket behind them or use virtual backgrounds.
Have a few work stations around the house to get your child moving to prevent muscle fatigue. Limit screen time to 20 minutes with breaks in between.
Finally, experts advise having a routine with fun breaks built-in for students.
"Having that kind of a schedule reduces anxiety in children and helps them be productive. There are a lot of studies coming out that reducing their anxiety and bringing their stress level down can really help them be productive," adds McLaughlin.