At the moment, your kids’ backpacks might be going unused due to recent schooling from home required because of COVID-19. However, some suggestions from Occupational Therapists on how to avoid backpack strain can also be applied to everyday learning, even at home.
Just as you would evaluate your own workstation for its body-friendly elements, take a look at your children’s homework spot to make sure it doesn’t cause long-term issues. Tingly fingers, arms, and shoulders can all be warning signs that something needs to be adjusted, just like when students are carrying backpacks that are too heavy.
These same warning signs also signal that their at-home work station isn’t ideal. Use the same rules in an ergonomic design for adults and make sure your child is seated upright for the majority of their time spent working, with feet on the floor and not dangling, with elbows at a 90-degree angle.
Plan Homework for the Week
To avoid overpacking a backpack, it’s helpful to plan homework out for the week and have your student bring home only the necessary items each day. Even while learning from home, this can be a helpful habit, as it makes sure you don’t overdo it mentally on any one subject. If possible, plan one day for your kids to focus on math, another on writing, etc. This also breaks up your day into smaller, more focused segments of learning.
Keep Kids Active
Occupational therapists recommend physical activity for people of all ages, including our children. Regardless if they are learning at home or taking a backpack full of books to the classroom each day, kids need to keep active. Through regular play and exercise, they keep their muscles strong and their minds focused.