Child Orthopedics


Frequently Asked Questions

My two boys ages 10 and 12 are in elementary and middle school. The 10-year-old is much smaller than his older brother, yet they both use desks that are exactly the same size. Is there any danger in using a desk that is too big or too small for the student?

A recent study says, "Yes." There is an increased risk of low back pain with prolonged sitting in desks. This is especially true for desks that don't match the height and weight of students.

The problem is a rapid growth spurt during the preteen years. It makes seating children and teens difficult, since there's no way to predict when this will happen or who will be affected. With limited school funds, the schools often adopt a "one size fits all" approach. Unfortunately, this can become a problem of "one size fits none."

Susan Limon, PT, et al. Children at Risk. Risk Factors for Low Back Pain in the Elementary School Environment. In Spine. March 15, 2004. Vol. 29. No. 6. Pp. 697-702.

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