Back to school

The Jolly Back Chair

Who could have predicted the prevalence of digital technology in the life of a modern student?

I remember when I left Secondary School just over a decade ago; we used blotchy biros (or a fountain pen if you had good enough handwriting!) to scratch out our coursework.

Fast forward to 2014 and laptops, tablets and smart boards are a prominent feature of every classroom. Students at university write dissertations on their laptops and - more surprisingly – even primary and secondary school children are completing exercises and writing tasks on computers instead of writing.

For today’s digital generation, it is more vital than ever to implement ergonomic principles which are incorporated into all aspects of computer work, whether in school or at home.

The ability to adjust your desk, chair or monitor is no longer only important for adults in the workplace. The long periods of time children and young adults now spend on the computer makes ergonomics just as important at school and at home. Adjustability, for example, is absolutely essential in implementing a shared computer workstation in such a way that users of different heights or weights aren’t forced to stretch or slouch to see the screen or use the mouse.

Ergonomics for children and teens is considerably different from adult ergonomics, particularly regarding vision and the spine. Up to about the mid-twenties the human body is still growing. While people are still growing their bones are much softer (particularly at the growth plates), and the relationship between bones and muscles is subject to change over time. Sitting for too long in a poor posture affects children’s growth, and in the long run, if not corrected, can result in abnormal bone development. Improper posture at a young age can also make people more susceptible to chronic back pain and carpal tunnel in later years.

The new school term starts in just a few weeks, and if you are an HR manager looking for new, modern and comfortable equipment for your education establishment we want to help. We have a fantastic range of cutting edge ergonomic aids that are both contemporary and fun to use, and that are specifically designed for schools, colleges and universities.

Chairs, such as the JollyBack, are an innovative solution for staff working at low heights - such as in a nursery or primary school. The JollyBack improves posture, comfort and helps reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury. It also has lockable swivel wheels which allow movement while seated, to prevent twisting or over-reaching, and re-positioning of the chair without lifting.

We’d also recommend the HÅG Conventio Wing chair, with its floating tilt feature, which allows the user to “slouch correctly” whilst maintaining the inward curve of the lumbar spine. This chair would be perfect to replace the inflexible and ill-fitting rigid plastic and metal chairs that are so often found in colleges and universities today.

In spite of my claims at the beginning of this blog post, while computers are indeed becoming more prevalent, good old-fashioned handwriting and drawing is unlikely to disappear at any time soon. With this in mind, we’d recommend our very own Junior Posturite Angle writing slope. This fun and colourful slope encourages a better pen-wielding posture for children both in school and at home, whether they’re colouring in or doing their homework.

Accepting that digital technology will continue to play an increasingly important role in education means that we must also commit to recognising the ergonomic implications for the end users of this equipment. Posturite recognises the need to ensure that children are properly ergonomically provided for and we are now stocking a wide range of tools to help you achieve this.