Shomporko Online News Desk: Many parents are concerned about the mental effects of virtual learning and screen time on their children, but the physical consequences are often disregarded.
Sapna Sriram, a Toronto-based chiropractor and injury expert, recently spoke on The Morning Show to explain how we can protect our children from technology-related injuries and aches.
Sriram explains that “our school-aged children are not exempt to any of the same injuries that we find in adults.”
This includes headaches as well as pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.
To check your child’s posture and to prevent injury, Sriram recommends drawing an imaginary line straight out from their mid-forehead to the device they’re using, making sure everything is in line.
“And by doing that, their line of sight will be more in line with their monitor so that they’re not having to tilt their neck down,” she says.
Sriram also recommends having your child reach their arm straight out to see if their fingers can touch the screen. This will ensure their device is at a good length away from their face and that it’s centered from their body.
“So they’re not having to look off to the side to use their device and that will minimize how much rotation they’re having,” she adds.
Using anti-glare and a larger font size will also help with a child’s posture because they won’t have to lean in too far to read, Sriram says.
Whether your child is using an adult- or child-sized piece of furniture, there are different ways to make adaptations based on what’s most ergonomic for them.
If their feet aren’t touching the ground, Sriram recommends having them use a stool or sit with their legs crisscrossed so their hips are more supported. Additionally, you can change the posture they’re sitting in and it’s OK if they want to move around the house, she says.
“Every 30 minutes or an hour they should be doing a reset and ideally incorporating some exercises,” she adds.
Sriram suggests executing a star stretch, which involves extending your arms out to your sides while keeping your feet wide. With one arm, extend over and upwards, while with the other, slide your arm towards your leg.
You can also try the hummingbird pose by lifting your arms from your sides and bending your elbows upwards. Make little circles with your arms and bend from one side to the other while pushing your shoulder blades together.
Finally, place your arms behind your head with your fingers clasped for a posture reset. Push your head gently into your palms and retain the resistance for a few seconds before releasing.