In most academies, reading is the main subject area that they focus on. As young as 3, children are taught to first how to maintain a proper posture when reading. In fact, in some institutions, part of the criteria for students during the diagnostic tests is the observance of proper posture-whether or not the student can sit straight with the legs straight and spine erect. This is because proper reading posture is fundamental. When a child is not trained to maintain this, chances are, he is not going to observe the proper way of sitting that can cause havoc to his eye health and spine in the future. This is taught in preschool and elementary because children must practice this while their bones are still young and their bodies are more flexible compared to the older children. In today's discussion, we will focus on the following things:
● The Proper Reading Posture
● The Checklist for Proper Reading Posture
So, let us begin the discussion now.
I.The Proper Reading Posture:
In an article about maintaining a good posture, it was said that it could benefit your overall health and appearance. This is because an injury to the spine can cause a lot of effects to the whole body particularly on organs like the eyes. Having an improper posture too can lead you to develop a stooped posture. This could lead to damage to your neck and might be the start of having either a buffalo hump or a humpback. Unfortunately, for young readers, this is apparent these days. Some parents tend to overlook this possibility; they tend to ignore it even when they see their children slouching or stooping because some are unaware of the dangers lying ahead and some think that it's something that could be corrected in the future.
Thus, a parent should monitor his child's proper posture by checking the correct alignment by:
● keeping the child's cervical, thoracic, and lumbar curves in balanced and aligned
● checking if the weight is evenly distributed on the feet
● checking if the reading material is on the eye level
● checking if the reader's head is bowing down too much
Ideally, the range of the reading angle should be around 15-30 degrees because this means the height of the table complements the reading position of the child and does not make him stoop with the head bowed down too much that it already strains the neck and shoulders.
In reading, we must always remember the three natural curves of the back:
● cervical curve- a slight forward curve in the neck
● a thoracic curve-a slight forward curve in the upper back
● a lumbar curve-a slight forward curve in the lower back
The proper curves of these body parts should be observed just like in the image below:
On the contrary, we must also remember that not all are the same when it comes to visual acuity or the ability of the eyes to recognize fine details at a certain angle or distance. Some people can see as far as 16 inches but when the inches exceed 17 and above, it would be hard for some to see certain characters. This may also affect the reading of the child. Hence, the child's visual acuity should be checked by an eye doctor using the Snellen chart.
Despite this, it should still be noted that when the curves are properly aligned, the shoulders, hips, spine, knees, and ankles are in balance, the bodyweight is evenly distributed thus making your child's reading comfortable and enjoyable because there are less stress and strain on the muscles, joints, and ligaments. As a result, he may pay closer attention to the whole story that he's reading.
When I was still working as a reading assistant, these were the fundamental things that we used to observe with our non-readers. We were particular about how they align their sitting posture when reading. It was a bit rigid, especially when aligning their feet to the chair because the aim was to condition their bodies with the right reading posture.
Now, how could we help our children maintain a proper reading posture without making them feel bored or scared to try? The following are the steps suggested in the same article mentioned above. You may do this as a fun exercise with your child through:
II.The Checklist for Proper Reading Posture:
1. Let the child imagine a straight line going through his body from ceiling to floor with the ears, hips, shoulders, and ankles aligned vertically.
2. Then, let him imagine a cord pulling his rib and chest upward making him look taller.
3. Allow him to increase the space between the pelvis and the rib cage. Another way to do this is to let the child imagine that he is a ballerina not a soldier at attention.
● Chin Tuck:
1. Allow your child to hold his head upright.
2. Let him hold his chin toward his neck for 5 seconds then relax. You may ask him to repeat it ten times.
● Shoulder Blade Squeeze:
1. Let him sit up straight on a chair.
2. Keep his shoulders down and his chin level.
3. Then, ask him to draw his shoulders back and squeeze his shoulder blades together. Hold for 5 seconds, rest, then repeat 3-5 times.
These fun exercises could help both children and adults in practicing a proper reading posture but the approach would vary depending on the person's age and preference. In my case, we used to be a bit rigid with the practice but we made sure the child still enjoyed the exercise by giving them merits at the end of the practice or made sure he would be praised accordingly. Lastly, we used to demonstrate it well to our students first before they tried executing it themselves. With this, it has begun to be part of their routine and as time passed by, they have easily practiced it during their reading in the academy.
In this last part of our discussion, we will talk about the importance of a certain product from Flexispot that may help a child practice the right reading posture. So, here are:
III. The Benefits of Using Flexispot's Height Adjustable Drafting Table:
The Height Adjustable Drafting Table ED1B is a type of sit-stand desk that is very useful not just when drafting, sketching, or drawing. This may also help a child practice a proper reading posture because of the ergonomics applied in building this innovation. This is a sit-stand desk that has an extended platform that may carry more school stuff, making the space for the reading material spacious for our young book whiz. Most of all, this drafting table has a flexible tabletop that could also cater to the right reading angle for the reader which is a 15-30-degree angle. A reliable product that could help our reading champ achieve an unforgettable reading experience.
IV. Final Thoughts:
Reading is the most important among the four core skills in learning a language. Hence, it is important that as they start learning to read, they must find it enjoyable and stress-free.