Ergonomics for Kids (page 2)

Ergonomics for Kids

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based on 14 ratings
Updated on Jan 28, 2008

What about the keyboard and mouse?

Basically, parents should make sure the keyboard is at elbow height, and that your child's arms are close to her body, not outstretched. If you and your child share a workspace, Chung suggests investing in an adjustable keyboard that attaches to the bottom of the desk. “This helps the workstation adjust comfortably to either size,” he says. The other issue with keyboards is size. Adult-sized keyboard require a significant amount of reach for little fingers and arms. “A child's wrists should not be angled, but held close to a neutral position when typing,” he says. This is where a miniature keyboard comes in handy, where the keys are smaller and there is a shorter distance between them. They also make smaller options in mice, but Chung says children, because of their fine motor limitation, may find a track ball easier to negotiate. Ergoworks carries a three-inch track ball, the largest on the market, which allows for a second-mouse connection for simultaneous participation. To avoid outstretched arms, Chung says parents may have to move the mouse or trackball into the middle of the workspace. The keyboard may need to be moved, and Chung suggests placing it in the child's lap on top of a pillow.

Chung says that in addition to setting up an ergonomic workspace, parents should encourage kids to take breaks often. That means that kids using the computer for an hour or more at a time should get up every 20-30 minutes for 3-5 minutes at a time. “Active breaks and frequent changes of position increase circulation, and let the eyes relax,” Chung says.

We know today's kids will be using computers for their entire lifetime. And that's why Chung says their ergonomic education is so important. “Just as parents teach their children to eat the right food, they should be teaching their children good computer habits,” he says.

For more information on footrests, miniature keyboards, mice and trackballs check out the Ergoworks web site at

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