For today’s children and teenagers, a computer is a necessity, or very close to it. It’s a resource for both schoolwork and play. Older teenagers may even need it for a part-time job. It’s therefore important that you set up your child’s computer desk in a way that promotes healthy working. Here are six tips to help.
Invest in a height-adjustable chair
You can buy office chairs sized for children. Older teens can use a regular adult office chair. Either option will allow the chair’s height to be adjusted as they grow. This is essential for making sure that they always work in an ergonomic position.
Make sure their screen is at the right height
As with adults, the top of a screen should be at or just below eye level. The screen should also be positioned about an arm’s length away from the viewer. If there’s space for a separate monitor, you can put it on an adjustable arm. This will allow you to raise the height as your child grows.
If you don’t have an external monitor then a laptop stand is a wise investment. Again, choose one which is adjustable so you can change up the height as your child grows. Wooden stands are a good option as they stay cooler than metal ones. Even so, it’s advisable to choose a laptop stand which has holes for ventilation.
Calibrate the screen settings
Screens allow you to calibrate brightness and contrast. You generally want to keep the brightness as low as possible and the contrast as high as possible. Test the settings with your child and see what works for them. You may need to adjust the settings at different times of the year as the light changes. Older children, however, might be able to do this themselves.
Get them a proper keyboard and mouse
If your child is using a laptop stand, then they’ll need a separate keyboard and mouse anyway. Even if they’re not, using a separate keyboard and mouse can give them a better experience and save wear-and-tear on the laptop.
Consider investing in a proper ergonomic mouse. They may look clunky but they’re actually very comfortable to use. They’re even fine for more delicate tasks like writing an online signature. Also, remember that mice can usually be calibrated to operate at different speeds. Try experimenting a bit to see what’s comfortable for your child.
Invest in a decent headset
Headsets may look much the same on the outside. On the inside, however, there are significant differences between them. Quality headsets do a much better job of relaying sound. This means that your child can hear the audio comfortably at a lower volume. That reduces the risk of them being exposed to excessive noise and potentially damaging their hearing.
Give them task lighting
Children should never just be using the light from the screen (neither should adults). They may, however, want something cozier than general room lighting. They may also need extra light for specific tasks. Make sure that they have access to a desk or wall lamp (or even a floor lamp) to shine a light wherever they need it.