The Pilot Study to Examine the Impact of Wedge Cushions on Childrens Seated Postures

Results of the pilot study, carried out from November 2015 to June 2016, are summarised in this pdf report: Claddagh School Study Report Oct 2016

Posted November 15th 2015

On Wednesday 4th November 2015, five AT teachers and AT Teacher Trainees, from the Alexander Technique Training College in Moycullen, introduced twenty 4th class primary school pupils from the Claddagh School in Galway City, aged around ten years old, to the use of wedge cushions when seated. The study will examine photographic evidence, children’s views and teachers’ views on the impact of the use of wedge cushions on seated posture over a 6-month period.

Earlier in the week, the children had been asked to write a few sentences about sitting at a desk and whether they found the chair comfortable or uncomfortable. They were also asked to describe what they did to make sitting comfortable. In addition, photographs were taken of the children sitting at their desks working prior to commencing the pilot study.

One hour was spent in the classroom introducing the children to the concept of good posture and poor posture. Prior to the intervention, the children were observed by the AT Teachers/Trainees as they completed work seated at their desks and their observations were recorded.

The children were then given a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation about how the spine works, how children’s posture changes from 5-year-olds to teenagers, and how the school chair can contribute to poor posture in teenagers. A model spine was used to show children how rocking on their sitting bones promotes good posture when seated.

The children were then taken in groups of 4 and they were shown how to find their hip joints and their sitting bones and how to rock on the sitting bones to allow the spine to stay long when working at the desk. They were each given a wedge and shown how to correctly position it on the chair. It was also explained to them how feet placed flat on the floor promote good posture when using the wedge.

Finally, comments were collected from children about how they felt about the use of the wedges.

It is planned to visit the class again after 8 weeks to review how the wedges are impacting seated posture.

The class teacher will take photographs of children seated in the classroom at intervals over the 8-week period.

For more information about the School Chairs Campaign please see www.alexander.ie/chairscampaign.html.