The Perfect Study Space for Kids: A Guide
From the Playground to the Classroom
Running around, playing, jumping and climbing: movement isn’t just fun for children, but also important for their physical development. As soon as kids start school, their action-packed playtime screeches to a halt. Eduard Schmitt, Professor of Orthopedics at Saarland University, located in Saarbrücken, Germany, voices concern over the decrease in exercise as children begin schooling. Dr Schmitt is the project leader for “KidCheck”, in which the posture and mobility of school children have been researched since 1999. The alarming result: about 60 percent of school children have poor posture.
Kids Need Exercise!
Experts recommend that parents give their children daily opportunities to exercise: a bike ride, an afternoon at the swimming pool, or even a round of football in the garden or at the local park are all great ways for kids to get the movement they need (and parents, too!). Dr. Schmitt says: “Serious health problems can only be avoided through regular exercise”.
Promoting Proper Posture
Despite these expert findings, school children still have to sit and concentrate for long periods of time; whether in the classroom or doing homework, this is (unfortunately) unavoidable. What can parents or caregivers do to support proper, ergonomic posture in order to avoid future problems? What does “proper posture” even mean? Here’s a definition from an Orthopedist:
The back should be as straight as possible.
Feet should be planted firmly on the ground.
Hips and knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle.
Upper arms should be close to the torso and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, meaning the lower arm should be resting on the desktop.
Learning how to Learn
Maybe your child enjoys studying at the kitchen table or in a comfortable sitting chair in the living room. Not only is this wrong from a pedagogical point of view, but it is also important to note that a child needs a quiet, well-lit space in which they can truly focus and be away from all distractions. However, per school psychologists and teachers, parents should still be present in the house or general area, as long as they aren’t sitting right next to the student.
The Right Desk
When considering proper sitting habits, orthopedists say that a good desk can make all the difference. Since children have a lot of growing to do, it’s worth your while to invest in a model which can be adjusted for height and growth. A properly adjusted desk can help your child avoid back pain, muscle pain and headaches. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when making a purchase:
Set-up should be easy with no prior knowledge needed.
Adjustability: the height and angle of the desk surface should be easy to adjust.
Safety first! Stability of the desk is also an important factor.
Storage spaces such as shelves, drawers, and pencil trays are always a plus.
Desk Chairs for Young Students
No desk is complete without an ergonomic desk chair: the same principle applies to children, as well! A desk chair should also be easily adjustable in order to adapt to your child’s growth. A good chair is constructed in a way which helps your child avoid the classic “turtle posture” (in which the back is rounded and the shoulders are turned toward the front). An ideal desk chair should have two levers which adjust the seat and backrest height.
Sitting Made Easy
Some modern chairs offer something more: they promote active sitting. Through special functions, such as a rocking or suspension device, small movements must be made in order to maintain balance in the chair. Back and gluteal muscles are strengthened during active sitting. If you choose a chair with wheels, be sure that they are stable, in order to avoid any accidents. If you decide for a seat with no wheels, non-slip feet are an important factor.
This children's desk from TecTake checks off a lot of our boxes on the "perfect desk" list: the desktop can be tilted or laid flat, the height can be easily adjusted, and it has a small drawer for storage, as well! Available in light blue and pink, it can even add a bit of flair to your child's room or study area. Finally, the reasonable price is a huge selling point.
While our second desk suggestion may be a bit pricier, the quality it promises is sure to make this purchase worthwhile. This desk is also highly adjustable and has storage for books, writing supplies and book bags. This model from hjh Office has a basic cream and silver colour scheme, which is perfect for older school children who prefer a classic, simply workspace.
This adjustable office chair from Fanilife is the perfect size for children yet allows for height adjustment as well as tilting. The design is simple, yet ergonomic, meaning that the chair's shape shouldn't hinder your child's development of proper posture. Additionally, it comes in a range of fun colours or just plain black.
This active learning stool is not only great for kids but adults as well! This stool from CO-Z allows old and young alike to develop or strengthen back and core muscles. It is highly adjustable, which means even children going through growth spurts can rely on this stool for studying. Studies have also shown that concentration abilities can be sharpened in individuals who use active learning stools or chairs.