Thursday, October 13, 2005

Now that it fits, get out of that desk!

After all that talk about good seating and positioning for school function, let's get the students out of their desks! Our bodies were not made to sit for extended times. Did you know that Winston Churchill did much of his work while standing at his desk? Let's explore some alternate positions for school work.

Standing - Choose a tall counter for a work area. Some students have more attention while standing.

Sitting backwards on chair - This puts the body in a forward leaning position, ideal for writing. It also is a good position for squirmers because it "grounds" them.

Lying prone on the floor (often seen in Hosmer hallways or on rugs in classrooms) - This is a geat position for several reasons. First, it stabilizes the forearms so that the hand muscles (not arm) are used for writing. Secondly, it encourages visual attention.

Sitting in a beanbag chair - This provides a comfortable, supported seating option. Great for writing with a clipboard or typing on an AlphaSmart.

If students need to be in a desk for longer than 20 minutes, do a few quick stretches. Yoga poses, chair push ups, and brain gym "tune ups" are some examples. Check in with OT/PT staff for ideas and resources.

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