Are you ‘sharing’ your home computer with the kids? Have you watched how they position themselves there and how focused they can become for long periods?
It may come as a surprise to learn that research reports increasingly show that many children experience moderate to high back and neck discomfort. We still do not know the impact of prolonged screen-based activities on children’s eyes, however general advice says that maintaining a fixed focal length (as in looking at a screen) will increase visual fatigue.
Another simple solution is to get kids to move more often, and we can all benefit from that! But movement is not everything, as important as it is. Set a plan with them to take breaks every 20 – 30 minutes, ride their bike, play some ball games or do a job between computer sessions.
When working at the computer the “still posture” needs to be correctly supported. Children are not simply “little adults”. They do not have the same muscle and bone proportions and the shape of their bones (for example the vertebra in children) is different to adults. Their body structure is altering as they grow and prolonged postural loading can influence that development.
If your children are working at a computer while sitting on a kitchen chair, floor, bed or other place where support is low, and if they are doing it for periods of more than around half an hour, it is quite possible they are building up postural loading that will lead to discomfort and injury in their future.