There are a number of sayings that mean get things right at the beginning and things will work out. Start as you mean to go on. Build on solid rock. This is often applied to exercise and a good portion of sports in schools are designed to foster a good attitude to exercise in the long run. The idea has rarely been applied to ergonomics and indeed most have shied away from ergonomics for children.
The site ergonomics4kids.com has been setup to help to counteract this. The statistics they give on their front page are somewhat frightening : 72% of primary school children have suffered back or neck pain in the last year and 64% of secondary school children. The site offers a number of basic information sheets translating traditional adult ergonomics to a children’s version. Some of these are aimed at parents and children and some at schools directly.
Get deeper into the site and there are several interactive quizzes, split by the child’s age, which try and teach correct posture and how to hold and carry out day to day and technology tasks.
The site does not pretend to be an exhaustive cover of ergonomics but the information presented could form the basis of a good discussion about ergonomic issues either for a parent or teacher. It’ s a good starting point and parents should be aware of the information presented.