The benefits of good seating for children and students

The benefits of good seating for children and students

Good seating is the key to many activities. By reducing the amount of effort and energy wasted trying to stay sitting up straight, a child will find it easier to carry out important daily activities, such as feeding, playing and learning.

Good seating provides the following benefits:

  • It will reduce the automatic reflexes and abnormal movements associated with some disabilities, e.g. cerebral palsy, which results in whole body movements such as an extension spasm
  • It will provide support for children with floppy muscles who need extra support to sit up straight
  • It will allow for further development of postural control
  • It can help to prevent permanent postural problems from developing or getting worse e.g. joint contractures, scoliosis or hip displacement
  • It may also help to keep the body in a particular position once corrective surgery has taken place
  • A more upright position can improve head control and lead to improved eye contact, communication and social skills
  • It will improve hand and arm control. A good, supportive seating system will allow children to use their hands for functional activities, such as using communication equipment, propelling a wheelchair, writing, feeding and accessing computers
  • It will increase independence
  • It will improve comfort
  • It will allow the heart, lungs and digestive system to work more efficiently.

Using a computer

Having the correct posture whilst using a computer is very important. A poor posture can result in back pain, neck pain, fatigue and if it continues, long term health concerns. Further information on recommended postures and workstation set up is available from:

BackCare, the charity for healthier backs, have a guide for office workers on posture, seating and behaviours that protect the back. This includes advice on the recommended sitting posture. Back Care - Office workers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produce a publication Working with VDUs which includes advice and a diagram showing a recommended sitting position when using a computer.

AbilityNet, a charity providing information and advice for people with a wide range of disabilities to help them access computer technology. They have a helpline 0800 269 545 and a comprehensive range of factsheets giving guidance on a range of computer topics. For guidance on adjustable desks and chairs choose their 'Ergonomic workstations' factsheet.

To view the range of chairs we have listed on Living made easy for children, click on the links below:

Advice last checked: 30 January 2018 Next check due: 30 January 2021

All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
Conflict of interest statement


  1. Disabled Living Foundation 2014  Choosing children's daily living equipment
    View reference   Last visited:  13/08/2012 Evidence type: 2