Tables, Chairs And Posture

When I finished full time teaching I spent a few years teaching as a supply ( substitute) teacher. I visited huge numbers of schools.

Also during this time I suffered from back trouble in the upper back which affected me when I worked on a computer. Also sitting reading at a desk or on a chair was very painful. In order to relieve the pain I became very interested in posture, back exercises and anything that could help. I took six months of lessons of the Alexander technique which made me very aware of posture.

I started to become very aware of others’ posture everywhere. So what has this to do with children and learning?

Well, of course, I was going to different schools on a daily and weekly basis. There in front of me every day were children sitting with I began to notice a pattern. This pattern was the same everywhere I went. Children who sat with good posture were more relaxed, behaved better and concentrated well. Children who slouched and sat with poor posture were more restless, struggled to concentrate and behaved less well.

I strongly felt that there was a strong correlation between posture and school work. On average, better posture led to better school work.

What can you do to help your children?

Telling them to sit up straight does not work. Trying to sit up straight usually means holding yourself tensely, which only works for a short time.

There are many things you can do but the most important ones are:

  1. Provide a table and chair at the correct heights for good posture and ergonomics.
  2. Prevent bad habits and posture by stopping your child from sitting and studying with poor posture, eg, chairs which are too big (thigh length is too long and the child’s back is away from the back of the chair). Sitting with a laptop on the lap. Remember for every 15 hours spent at school your child spends 85 at home. The posture habits your child develops sitting at home will transfer to school.