Dear Editor,During COVID times, everything has changed. Our lifestyle, our study schedule, working schedule all have changed. Students are busy with online classes and are adopting the new normal slowly. But it is important that we should make sure that our children are comfortable and sitting in right position while attending online classes.Incorrect posture, while sitting in front of a computer for long can strain the eyes, neck and the back. It’s not just the adults who are affected but kids, as young as 5 years are now complaining of back-pain and aches. Preteens and teenagers are being diagnosed with acute problems like spondylosis.Doctors say that the problem can be aggravated by long hours of online schooling, improper sitting and lack of physical activity by children.Long screen time can impair your child’s spine and lead to back stiffness, physical fatigue and other health problems. With some more months extended for online learning, it has become all the more imperative that good posture and suitable learning environment must be crafted even at home. I would like to share few tips to make this easy for moms at home.A home desk should be patterned similar to that of a classroom. Do not encourage them to slouch, lie down and watch classes on their gadgets.Encourage them to maintain proper posture while they are sitting and studying at table. Their feet should touch the ground, screen elevated at the right level so that they don’t have to slouch and look straight ahead at the computer screen.If you have a child younger than 8, consider getting a special desk or chair which suits his structure and doesn’t harm back.Too much of screen time is bad for their body as it can induce unnecessary stress on your eyes, neck and back muscles. Long hours sitting down can also turn your little ones physically inactive.A simple solution to this would be to tell them to take frequent breaks between classes. It could be a simple walk around the room or doing routine exercises which would stretch muscles and improve flexibility. As a rule, every individual should get up for 5-10 minutes every hour and take a short walk.When we sit and focus on the laptop, we put a lot of stress on our lower back muscles and lumbar region. The extra stress is also one of the reasons why a lot of children tend to slouch or have bad posture, which can end up causing problems later on. To fix this problem, try and support their lower back by rolling a comfortable pillow or towel at the back of the chair when they sit. It would make their desk a lot more comfortable.Moreover, do not encourage them to watch classes on the phone while lying on the couch. If possible, instruct children to attend classes and complete assignments on a computer unit, preferably affixed to a desk. Mobiles and tablets have a smaller screen, which is bad for their eyes. Kids who attend classes on phone are more likely to lean back on the couch, bed and be less attentive as well. Therefore, it’s crucial you maintain a good study environment if you want their performance to match that of a classroom setting.It is also important to make sure that they get all necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed for growing ages. A complete, healthy meal which contains a rich source of calcium, magnesium, Vitamin-B12 and D would help them strengthen muscles and bones, and may even combat the ill-effects of long hours of sitting and bad postural habits.By following these simple tips one can ensure that children have a good time while studying online without harming their body.Dr Neha Sharma,Greater Kailash,Jammu
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