The ultimate ergonomic back to school guide

If you have a computer-based desk job, your employer is legally obliged to provide an individual workstation assessment to make sure your workstation is comfortable and fit for purpose.

Unfortunately, the same is not the case for our children as schools do not currently fit the criteria to warrant this. It is estimated that a third of children in the UK suffer from back pain and with the growth in the use of tablets and computers at home, the problem is set to get worse. This is why we have created the ultimate ergonomic back to school guide which contains advice on how to safely use computers and tablets. This guide is applicable to all students from primary to university age!

Now we’ve thrown regular bouts of homeschooling into the mix, the problem is likely to get worse as more school work is moved online and Google Classroom becomes the new norm.

How to sit/stand correctly

We are big advocates of sit/stand workstations and have previously spoken about our thoughts on standing desks in schools. Whether you have a seated or standing workstation, you can make sure you are using yours correctly with our free checklist and visual guides.

Beware of iPad neck

In the UK, 27% of children under the age of eight now own a tablet. Along with this generational shift in smartphone and tablet users, comes a range of issues caused by prolonged device usage. Taking precautions such as using a stand that raises the device will prevent your child from dropping their neck and can help to prevent a lifetime of neck and back pain. When you set up a workstation, we recommend keeping your screen an arms’ length away. Using a stand will also help maintain a safe distance by keeping the device on a flat surface rather than cradled in their lap.

How to choose the right backpack

Regardless of age, all of us are guilty of carrying heavy laptops, folders and books to our workplaces. This weight can cause a huge range of back and shoulder complaints, especially for those of you that carry the load on one shoulder with a handbag or satchel. If you end up ferrying items into work regularly, consider a well-fitting backpack that distributes the weight evenly across your back and shoulders. If you need a bit of help choosing one, check out these excellent suggestions for the top 5 ergonomic backpacks.

How to use a laptop correctly

working with a laptop guide

Although they are a fantastic way of allowing us to work wherever and whenever we want to, working on a laptop incorrectly is one of our top posture sins!

When working on a laptop for a long period of time, make sure you use a separate keyboard and laptop stand and never actually use it on your lap!

Author: Jo Blood. Jo is our sitting guru, regularly asked to contribute to national papers such as The Guardian, and magazines like Grazia. She was even asked to show the nation on how to set up a workstation at home for the BBC Healthcheck Live show. She’s been working in ergonomics for 15 years and is a co-owner of Posture People.

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