Godrej & Boyce, the flagship company of the Godrej Group, announced today that its business Godrej Interio, India’s leading furniture solutions brand, in its recent survey, that children studying from home are facing long-term mental and physical health concerns due to bad posture.
The study ‘Taking care of children as they learn from home’ by Godrej Interio’s Workplace and Ergonomics Research Cell attempted to study the home-schooling behaviour of 350 school-going children of the age group of 3-15 years from across India. Parents who were a part of this research revealed that their children used gadgets for a minimum of 4–6 hours a day which is 2-3 hours more than what they did before schools closed on account of the lockdown. This upped screen time can increase the risk of physical health issues in children. The study also revealed that 52% of the children had daily online classes while 36% had classes four times a week and as a result, 41% children complained of eye strain issues.
In response, Godrej Interio hosted a webinar titled ‘Helping Children Adapt to Learning from Home’. The webinar educated parents and care givers on the best ways to create an environment crucial for the overall wellbeing of children as they learn from home, as the state governments continue to impose micro-lockdowns to arrest the pandemic. The webinar also highlighted the importance of ergonomic learning spaces, the need for sensory diets and physical activity to create an environment of healthy learning for children.
The session was held today in the presence of over 1700+ registered attendees. Participants witnessed leading educationists and healthcare experts explore the challenges and the plausible solutions to support parents in the endeavour.
The webinar which was moderated by Lt. Col. A. Sekhar, CDO, Jagran Education Foundation had an eminent panel consisting of Siddharth Rajgarhia – Director, DPS Nashik, Varanasi and LAVA Nagpur, Lina Ashar – Co-Founder, Korroboree, Chandni Bhagat – Child Psychologist, Fatema Agarkar – Founder, Agarkar Center of Excellence and Dr. Reena Valecha – Principal Ergonomist – Workplace & Ergonomics Research Cell, Godrej Interio. During the one-hour insightful webinar the panellists explored and deliberated upon the subject from multiple vantage points including home-schooling behaviour, healthy sitting posture for children, precautions while studying in free spaces. They also spoke about the importance of sensory breaks and using good-old pencil and paper as well as the physical-virtual hybrid model of learning as online learning is likely to stay for longer than we predicted. Dr Reena Valecha, also shared simple ways that parents and caregivers can ensure a healthy learning environment for children and the long term effects of having incorrect posture leading to musculoskeletal disorders.
Godrej Interio’s focus has always been towards making space for life, learning and pursuing passions. Through their intuitively designed products and solutions they hope to enrich the quality of their customers’ lives, every day and everywhere. Its Workplace and Ergonomics Research Cell regularly undertakes studies that are of critical importance to consumers so Godrej Interio may share the knowledge they gain with them and promote healthy ergonomic behaviours. This webinar is a step towards providing multiple perspectives from leading experts which would serve as a real-life guide for parents and caregivers when designing ergonomic learning spaces for their children.
Godrej Interio, through its myriad range of products and solutions has been supporting the education industry for over 30 years and has serviced over 15,000 educational institutions.
Fatema Agarkar, Founder of Agarkar Centre of Excellence (ACE), said “Virtual School enabled ‘learning’ to continue despite all odds, building on important skill development, not to mention academic targets, and for most progressive families and schools, it became a year of adaptation as homes transformed into ‘schools’ and schools embraced tech platform to empower students. Adjustments, and building capacities and capabilities became the order of life, and this new normal enabled plenty of re-thinking, and re-design and for most parts was about balance. Looking at it as opportunities to grow rather than be bogged down with challenges and ditching some ‘traditional’ beliefs meant learning was continuous. For me, striking the right note, and being flexible and open-minded has defined the journey for families that have coped and schools that enjoy parental support. In addition, having resources such as Godrej Interio’s whitepaper ‘Taking Care of Children as they Learn from Home’ can provide you with innovative ways to address the opportunities that virtual learning has brought us.”
Lina Ashar, Co-Founder Korroboree said “If this time has taught us anything, it is that an anti-fragile mindset, agility, adaptability, empathy, self-awareness, self-regulation, focus and creativity are more important than Math, English, History and Geography. We always have a choice in how we view situations and circumstances, and our children are most likely to adopt the same stories and ways of seeing things as their parents do. We have a choice to think about technology as increasing or decreasing the quality of our emotional health and wellbeing, learning and motivation. The way we perceive it will make all the difference in how we use it and the outcome this has for our children. Resources such as Godrej Interio’s whitepaper titled ‘Taking Care of Children as they Learn from Home’ are essential tools in arming us with information to make the right choice for our children.”
Chandni Bhagat, Prominent Child Psychologist, said “The ongoing pandemic has been extremely challenging for kids. As they are home-schooling for the second consecutive year, they are grappling with several issues which they maybe unable to freely express. Godrej Interio’s whitepaper ‘Taking Care of Children as they Learn from Home’ spotlights the need to promote a healthy home-schooling experience.”
Commenting on the webinar, Sameer Joshi, Head – Associate Vice President, Marketing (B2B), Godrej Interio, said, “Owing to the precarious pandemic situation, today, parents and children have been forced into home-schooling and this is likely to carry on for a while. However, as safe as this new model of education is, it is equally challenging in certain ways. Parents often find their children hunched over a laptop computer screen to attend lectures and complete their assignments. This lack of infrastructure, coupled with awkward postures adopted while studying and limited physical activities impose health risks on children at a very young age. 53% of the children we surveyed in our whitepaper ‘Taking Care of Children as they Learn from Home’ ‘felt tired at the end of the day due to online classes. We hope these well researched resources are widely used by parents and teachers alike and serve as guides to creating a better learning environment for children. These small and doable changes to the study environment that are detailed in the whitepaper will go a long way in keeping children healthy and happy in the long term.”