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Dorm Room Ergonomics

Friday, August 06, 2010
By Anne Kramer

It’s almost fall again, and that means it’s “back-to-school” time. All around the country, kids of all ages are getting ready to hit the books by shopping for pens, pencils, and other back-to-school supplies – all except college-aged students that is.

College students are notorious for waiting until the last minute to do everything – if they do it at all! Unfortunately, this can have serious repercussions on their performance at school, in their personal lives, and yes, on their health as well. That’s why we, as good parents, encourage them to be proactive in preparing for the new school year, even if that means buying a new pair of socks from time to time!

In reality, there are a number of ways to promote your college student’s ergonomic health. It happens to be most effective, however, to address the area in which they will spend most of their time: their dorm room. Students, like the rest of us, should be getting around 8 hours sleep. But what do you do when your bed is covered in junk? If you’re a college student, you’re likely to sleep of top of it, a common practice likely to cause a number of ergonomic maladies. Or, you may just shovel your belongings onto the ground – a habit that can have any number of undesirable consequences. One simple and cost effective way to address both problems is for your student to prop his or her bed up on risers. Now not only will your student’s bed be free of junk, allowing restful and safe sleep, but their dorm room will stay neat and tidy throughout the year (maybe!)

On top of the time he/she will spend sleeping in their room, your child is likely to do a lot of studying in their dorm rooms as well. This is why it’s so important for your college student to have a number of options available when searching for a place to do his/her work. Like the rest of us, they are likely to grow tired of working in one spot after a short period of time. While at their desk, your student may want to take advantage of an easy-to-set-up laptop holder that ensures correct ergonomic positioning on any flat surface. If they’re using a desktop computer, a lapdesk is the perfect way to adjust keyboard and mouse position without compromising ergonomic safety. After working in their room becomes boring, they may choose to set up at the coffee or kitchen table. Here’s where it’s important to have a travel lapdesk – a portable workstation that allows your child, regardless of whether they’re sitting on the couch or in a crowded lecture hall to maintain proper posture, creating less stress on back, shoulders, and neck.

Finally, for the time spent in-between classes and the dorm room, your college student needs a safe way to transport his or her supplies. Backpacks can be heavy – especially on a day filled with classes. That’s why it’s important, even if they’re driving from class to class, that your college student has an ergonomically safe method of carrying their supplies. Ergonomic backpacks have been designed to do just that. By reducing the stress associated with carrying a backpack by 80%, and lightening the overall load by 30%, these ergonomic lifesavers are sure to be appreciated by your college student.

So while it may be pulling teeth to get your college student out of bed this summer, see if you can’t get him or her over to the computer screen to check out some back-to-school essentials, sometime before the last minute.

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