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A child's knees and elbows should be bent at 90 degrees when he/she is sitting at the desk. Ergonomic chairs help kids get into the right posture when studying. Image Credit: Shutterstock

School’s in! Now that your children are easing back into the rhythm of homework and revisions after a long summer break, it’s a good time to consider purchasing a comfortable, ergonomic desk chair to see them through their study sessions.

Contrary to popular belief, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to desk chairs. Just like how adults need lumbar support and a cushioned seat when they work, diligent young students can benefit from sturdy, supportive desk chairs, where their posture and spinal health doesn’t suffer from hours hunched over books.

Can young students develop back and neck pain from poor posture?

We spoke with Dr Ayhem Sabry, founder and medical director of Dubai-based Spine and Joint Chiropractic Rehab Clinic, who has nearly 20 years of experience treating patients with neuro-muscular and musculoskeletal pain. He advises paying attention to spinal health from a young age.

Dr Sabry said: “Proper posture can help prevent abnormal wearing of joints, and reduce stress on ligament, muscles, discs, and nerves. This easing of tension will allow the muscles to work more efficiently. It can also help prevent muscle strain and overuse disorders that lead to back pain. Neck pain and back pain are a big distraction for many students, pulling on their attention span.”

The body doesn’t just suffer physically, in such cases. Poor posture can have an adverse impact on students’ mental health and internal organs, too. Dr Sabry cautioned: “Poor posture can lead to a decrease in overall health by compressing your lungs, heart, and spinal nerves, as well as impairing digestion. Good posture can improve overall health and appearance, as well as affect the position and function of your body organs, such as breathing and oxygen intake and mood. Also, a straight back means your spinal nerves are under less stress, which means your brain can focus on the task at hand.”

How should kids position themselves in an ergonomic chair?

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Our expert cautions that the computer screen should be at eye level to prevent neck strain. Image Credit: Pexels/Julia M. Cameron

According to our expert, an ergonomic desk chair is an excellent investment for aspiring students. But once you buy your child such a chair, it’s equally important to position them in it correctly so that they avoid aches and pains in the long term.

Dr Sabry said: “Your child's chair should be positioned so that their knees are bent at 90 degrees. The elbows should also be at 90 degrees, with the arms resting on the arm rests so the shoulders are relaxed. Their books or computer screen should be at eye level to avoid looking down, which stresses the muscles in the neck and also causes the back to arch forward and the shoulders to round forward.”

He advised looking for a chair that has adjustable features, which help keep the child’s back straight and their feet flat on the floor. If you are able to adjust the chair’s height, along with its armrests, it can help you perfect the seating position. Lumbar, neck and head support are also important factors to consider when buying.

At the end of the day, though, the key to children’s good spinal (and general) health isn’t necessarily in how they sit, but what they do once they stand up and go about their day. Dr Sabry shared some advice: “I can't stress enough the importance of physical activity to counter the sedentary lifestyle of a student. Regular daily exercise of at least one hour per day is very important to counter the stagnation of sitting all day in school. Make sure your younger children are getting enough play time to let their bodies develop but also to let their social skills develop. The healthy mind dwells within the healthy body, therefore, exercise is the best medicine!”

We curated the best desk chairs for children, based on our expert’s recommendations. Invest in one for your child at the start of the school year, for a more focused, comfortable study term ahead. Don’t forget to become an Amazon Prime member for free, fast delivery.

1. Best Overall: SitRite Ergonomic Desk Chair 

Pros

  • Thick, padded seat
  • Adjustable height and back recline
  • Detachable footrest
  • Available in three colours
  • Manufacturer warranty included

Cons

  • Expensive

Ideal for growing teenagers, the SitRite desk chair features a number of useful design and function solutions that have helped it to garner 4.5-star ratings on Amazon. Reviewers find its well-padded seat to be extremely comfortable, and say the detachable footrest is well-suited for children aged between 5 and 8. Nearly everything can be customised in this chair: its height can be adjusted from 17.25 to 19.75 inches, the seat can swivel around to 360 degrees, and its padded seat can slide back and forth, and then be locked at your child’s preferred position. Reviewers say it’s very easy to assemble. The only drawback is its hefty price tag, which can be justified, since it’s a great investment that will keep up with your growing child.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh105 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: The manufacturer provides one-year warranty.

2. Best for Primary School Children: Aeris Swoppster Ergonomic Desk Chair 

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Flexible movement
  • Built-in footrest
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Manufacturer warranty included

Cons

  • No back support

This German-made desk chair by Aeris takes into consideration that primary school aged kids are probably not going to sit down for long periods of time. Optimised to support children between 15kg and 50kg, it’s perfect for short art sessions, free play, and colouring. Although suitable for children aged between 4 and 12, reviewers have found it ideal for younger kids in the age range, who are likely to bounce around, lean over dramatically, and spin, even as they sit and work on their current activity. The chair is robust and durable, with an adjustable seat height of between 32cm to 47.5cm. The fabric seat is comfortable, breathable, and easy to clean.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh104.17 for 12 months with select banks. Redeem an extra 10 per cent discount with Citibank by entering the code ‘CB10SEP’ at checkout.

Warranty: The manufacturer provides one-year warranty.

3. Best for Pre-Teens: Primy Kids Desk Chair 

Pros

  • Adjustable seat height
  • C-shaped backrest
  • Breathable mesh seat
  • Choose from five different colours
  • Manufacturer warranty included

Cons

  • Materials may not be durable enough
  • No armrest

Well suited for growing adolescents, this desk chair’s height can be adjusted to suit kids between 4 and 12 years old. The 17.5-inch wide, wrap-around backrest is extremely comfortable, since its C-shaped design helps fit the curve of the body. Rolling wheels give children the ability to move the chair around their room easily. And since the seat and backrest is made with woven, breathable mesh, it prevents children from feeling hot and sweaty after an hour of use. Although some reviewers wished it included armrests, its omission does have an advantage: you can push the chair right under the desk, helping save space in your child’s room.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh70.21 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: The manufacturer provides one-year warranty.

4. Best Wobble Chair: Active Kids Chair by Studico 

Pros

  • Allows kids to wiggle and move
  • Orthopaedic massaging base
  • Choose from six different colours

Cons

  • Not comfortable for long periods of time

Another great option for younger children, this wobble chair by Studico prevents little ones from slouching, and helps promote better posture and a stronger core. Suitable for kids aged 7 to 12, it helps active, fidgety kids get their wiggles out while remaining in their seat so that their activities and studies get done. The non-slip, rubberised bottom keeps the chair from toppling over, and the orthopaedic massaging base gives youngsters a comfortable place to transform a sedentary position into a calorie-burning activity. Teachers in the comments have brought these chairs into the classroom to successfully keep energetic kids in place during activities and art class.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh47.17 for 12 months with select banks. Redeem an extra 10 per cent discount with Citibank by entering the code ‘CB10SEP’ at checkout.

5. Best Budget: IKEA LOBERGET/SIBBEN Children's Desk Chair 

Pros

  • Adjustable height
  • Easy to clean
  • Swivelling capabilities

Cons

  • No wheels

One of the biggest challenges with fabric desk chairs is the fact that children can ruin it with markers, paints or the occasional apple juice. A simple chair for your child’s room, this IKEA desk chair is made with polypropylene plastic, so it’s very easy to clean – just wipe down with a damp cloth after particularly messy art sessions. It’s suitable for children aged 7 to 12 years, since the seat’s height can be adjusted accordingly. Reviewers note that it doesn’t come with wheels, so it’s best placed over a rug or a floor protector.

Bonus: Redeem an extra 10 per cent discount with Citibank by entering the code ‘CB10SEP’ at checkout.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.