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Protect Your Posture

by Beverley Paine

Life isn't very comfortable with a couple of bulging disks in my back, pinching the nerve that runs down the outside of my thigh and making sleeping uncomfortable on my right side. This is an everday occurence for me and I'm much too young to be complaining about back problems! Carrying infants in an incorrect manner probably impacted on twelve years of sitting at a desk as a school student. During my years as an owner-builder I didn't take care to warm up my muscles or develop them adequately to do the heavy lifting and gardening I undertook almost daily. And now it is hard for me to do gardening - bending over hurts, sitting on the ground hurts and I definitely can't turn the compost heap or dig the spuds...

It's never too late to start looking after your back. Too many of us spend too many hours sitting at our computers, whether for study or leisure or simply catching up with friends on social networking sites. Preventing back problems in the first place makes good sense, especially when it is relatively easy to do by following a few simple tips. Instilling posture protecting habits in our children will reward them for the rest of their lives. Poor posture leads to aching muscles which can make it hard to be creative, concentrate or stay motivated.

Follow these five rules for working comfortably on a desktop computer:

  • Use a chair that supports your lower back and push your hips as far back as they can go in the chair.
  • Place your keyboard and mouse at elbow level.
  • Adjust your work surface and chair height to assume a comfortable position. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your wrists should be hovering over, not continually resting on, the desk or wrist-rest.
  • Position the top of the screen at eye level.
  • Use a footrest if your feet aren't resting comfortably on the floor.

Adjusting to working with your arms level with your elbows, sitting relatively upright with your back supported and your legs level with your hips, may feel uncomfortable in the beginning. Persevere with a few aches - they will soon go away and you'll feel much better and more energetic after working. Make sure that the top of your monitor is set at eye level - any lower or higher and you will get strain in your neck and shoulders.

Don't forget to take short one to five minute breaks every half hour. Get up and walk to the kitchen for a drink of water. Do a few stretches on your way back to your desk. While working, develop the habit of focussing on objects around the room or through a window or mirror to give your eyes a rest. Every couple of hours go outside for some fresh air and a walk around the garden. Help your children develop these habits by encouraging them to mix up their day, making sure sedentary activities are punctuated regularly by physically active ones.

Source: http://manuals.makeuseof.com.s3.amazonaws.com/MUO-productivity-guide.pdf

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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.

Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people."

"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!"

"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others."

"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
2am in the morning, I 've been encouraged!"

"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful."


Welcome to the World of Home Education and
Learning without School!

We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine

The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.

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to suit the individual needs of their children.

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