Good Posture And Typing Practice for Kids?
We often emphasize the importance of good posture when sitting down to type. But, the truth is, few people know how good posture is beneficial to our health, development, and productivity. When arranging typing practice for kids, it is important to know what is going on so that you can modulate your approach appropriately.
The truth is, not all kids will have the same needs. Children of different ages, weights, and sizes will need posture adjustments if you want the exercises to be effective. Some kids may only need reminders while others may require a full posture workout.
Finally, the goal of good posture is to teach kids to stay healthy and alert while typing. Even though they might not see the medical drawback from bad posture until much later in their life, the practical benefits will be visible almost instantly.
Reasons for Good Posture
The human body is a result of eons of evolutionary development. We are not made for keyboards and transferring information through microscopic silicone switches pushing electrons. Even sitting and working is a relatively new development when it comes to human physiology.
Thus, we need to adapt our new behavior to simulate the old one. Staying upright simulates a lookout for predators and tricks the brain to secrete hormones to keep us alert and focused.
The moment we slouch, these juices stop flowing and we start to lose focus.
There are also medical and professional reasons why typing practice for kids should include proper posture. Some of them are obvious and most teachers are already using them. Others might be slightly obscure but are just as important.
It is easy to assume that good posture is helpful for your back. But when it comes to repetitive typing practice for kids, it can influence the whole body and not just the spine.
Regretfully, children today get a lot less physical practice than they used to. This means that the time they spend at the keyboard severely impacts how their body will develop. Slight slouching at the age of twelve might result in serious medical problems later in their youth.
Additionally, bad posture creates pressure points in various places. For children, the fact they will tire sooner is not an issue, as they have more than enough energy for the entire class.
But, their hypothalamus will notice these issues and will try to build the body to resolve them. This means that the spine, legs, and shoulders will grow slightly twisted to equalize the center of mass. The number of medical problems this will create over time is immense. Also, these developments are impossible to revert once they are formed.
The main professional reason why we should sit upright and keep our balance when typing is that we are more alert. And while the legs don't need to stay flat for this effect, it is much easier to achieve it with a completely upright posture.
But that is not the only reason, and there are better ones that might resonate with your students more, especially if they are teenagers.
Humans are funny in a way, and as some tend to believe - there is very little from the biology standpoint that differentiates us from monkeys. Staying upright and with your chest forward will stimulate both growth and other healthy hormones.
The combination of the two will make kids develop to be more assertive, dominant, and even better looking. While this has absolutely nothing to do with how good they might be at typing, it certainly is a fair amount of benefits.
What is the Correct Posture with Typing Practice for Kids?
The good thing about keeping the correct posture is that there are simple tricks that make everything work. And once the kids get used to typing correctly it will be difficult for them to do it any other way.
Generally, two positions have proven to work the best for typing and general keyboarding as well. Regardless of the job they might take, this will help them significantly.
The Piano Man
This is the basic posture exercise and it is very easy to combine with ‘home row’ learning.
The idea is simple. You want the student to be upright, with their back straight and arms elevated from the keyboard. This way, they will focus more on the keys and the hands while keeping their back straight.
To ease your students into the exercise, place the keyboards on the edge of the desk and let them move slightly away with their chairs. That way, the only way to write will be by keeping good posture. After a while, this distance won’t be needed and you may let them rest their forearms on the table.
Eyes Up Front
For regular size monitors (up to 27 inches) the top bezel of the monitor should align with the eyes. This way, the student will have a complete overview of the screen without stressing their neck.
This combines well with blind typing exercises because they can practice looking at the screen and not their fingers. This is much easier when you are standing upright and just move your eyes and not your entire neck.
Finally, if you combine eye positioning with back posture, you will gain all of the hormonal benefits. Even though the effect is not as big for kids as it is for teenagers, it is still very noticeable.
You Can Use Games and Exercises
A problem when educating kids is that they are easily bored. Even for typing exercises, there are games and software that you can use to solve this. But, when it comes to posture you will need to be a bit more creative.
Something that might resonate with the kids is the ‘eye tracker challenge’. If your class has webcams, you can use eye-tracking software to show exactly where kids are looking.
Enable the software and measure how long everyone can keep up typing and not looking at the keyboard. Make a leaderboard and update it every day to see who is moving forward and who isn't. This will be very fun for the kids and they will compete to be rated as having the most correct posture and be able to type blindly for longer.
Typing practice for kids is the ideal time to practice good posture. Also, it is very helpful for those children who plan on typing a lot during their life and career.
The benefits of good posture are not only to prevent bad spinal development. Rather, it will give everyone better focus and more assertiveness both in their writing and life in general. These biological benefits transcend time and keyboarding and affect all aspects of a child's future life.
And the best sentiment of all - learning to keep the correct posture is not hard. By using only a few tricks and maybe employing some games and exercises, you can quickly teach your students to stay up straight and keep their eyes level.