Concerned about your child’s virtual learning environment? You’re not alone.

To set students up for success during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve enlisted Joseph Lorenzetti, DPT, to answer questions about your child’s posture, screen time, and the best ways to incorporate movement during the school day. 

How Should I Set Up My Child’s Virtual Learning Workspace? 

  • Minimize distractions. If possible, limit background noise and visual “clutter.” Be mindful of the locations of any light sources, such as windows, in order to prevent glare on screens. 
  • Distance from screen. Don’t use a laptop on your lap; put it on a desk or table. The top of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level. Prop the device up on books if necessary. Screen should be 20″ to 24″ away from the child. 
  • Find ideal table height. Have your child place a fist under their chin with their arm touching the body. The “point” of the elbow is where the tabletop should be. 

Incorporating Movement While Learning

Give your kids the opportunity to get up and move frequently! Don’t discourage movement during the day or while completing schoolwork. 

“Some children need to move around a lot to focus. This wiggling should not be discouraged, as long as it is not negatively impacting their learning. Try sitting on an exercise ball, using an unbalanced chair that “rocks” or unsteady surface (i.e. foam, a pillow, balance board). 

Children can work in appropriate positions that are comfortable for them. Examples would be: laying on stomach while propped up on elbows (a good position for reading), sitting crisscross applesauce on the floor, sitting with legs extended straight out, tall kneeling, or standing. What’s important to remember is having the correct height of work surface and/or distance from screen in each position. 

Remember to take a 10 minute break every hour — or sooner if the child needs to get up and move. Your child should do something active when taking a break such as jumping jacks, skipping, dance, yoga, etc.”

Joseph Lorenzetti, DPT

Clinical Rehab Specialist, Catholic Health

Tips to Improve Your Student’s Posture


For small children, tell them something simple like, “sit up tall.” A visual can be placed near the workstation to remind children how to sit. 


When seated, children should strive for 90-90-90 posture. This means their elbows, hips, and knees are all at a 90 degree angle, with feet resting flat on the floor. 


Modifications may need to be made to achieve the 90-90-90 posture. A foot stool can be placed beneath the children’s feet, if their feet do not reach the floor. A cushion or pillow can be used behind the back as well. 

If Your Child Experiences Aches & Pains

If your child experiences persistent aches and pains from virtual learning activities at home, make sure to address this with their primary care doctor. Or contact our physical therapy specialists for an evaluation and suggestions for stretching, call (716) 447-6205.

Learn More About Our Physical Therapy Services
Call (716) 447-6205

Learn More About Our Physical Therapy Services
Call (716) 447-6205