What it is: As computers and one to one environments become more prevalent in schools, it is important to remember proper ergonomics. Stretch Break is a free software that is downloadable for both Mac and PC platforms. The software is designed to help prevent computer related strain injuries by reminding students to take breaks while using the computer. Every 30 minutes the software asks students if they would like to stretch. Full animated figures lead students through simple stretches. Then the software returns students to the task they were working on. Teachers can designate how long to wait between stretch sessions and how many stretches to lead students through in a session. Stretch Break for Kids was designed by a team of health care professionals. The stretches focus on the neck, arms, hands, back, legs, and wrists. The software also includes some important eye exercises. There are 20 stretches total, many that focus on prevention of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
How to integrate Stretch Break for Kids into the classroom: Stretch Break for Kids is a must for every computer lab. Any time that students are using a lab computer they should be reminded of proper ergonomics and learn how to properly stretch for health. Load Stretch Break for Kids on classroom computers and even on the computer that is connected with the Interactive Whiteboard. Throughout the day (you determine how often and how long) set Stretch Break to pop up and encourage students to stretch as a class. Even if they aren’t working at the computer all day, these stretches will help them get some blood flowing and release tension that can build up while they are doing their school work. This is a great one to download to your own computer, you need to be reminded to stretch too!
Tips: Stretch Break for Kids contains Ergo hints for healthier computing in addition to the stretches. Spend some time teaching your kids healthy computing habits, as technology becomes more and more available in the classroom, these healthy habits become more important. The free Stretch Break for Kids software is network compatible.
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Stretch Break for Kids in your classroom.