We recently launched a Facebook contest as part of our mission to help children overcome vision problems. The goal is to give away a free slant board every month. People can use a slant board for writing, for reading, and in a number of other ways - all of which make close work easier on the eyes.
But how does a slant board make near work easier?
To answer that question, you need to understand the research of Dr. Darrell Boyd Harmon, the creator of the “Harmon Distance.” Harmon devoted his life to making a study of the growth processes in children, especially those related to vision and the learning environment.
He found that how we interact with the environment can lead to significant impacts on the visual system. Based on his research, he planned a “coordinated classroom,” in which he made modifications to the learning environment. One of those modifications included raising the work surface to a 22-degree angle, which brings the surface more parallel to the face.
The raised work surface significantly reduces the compression on the intervertebral discs. In other words, it means a child doesn’t have to lean forward to read the print at the top of the page. Instead, the page comes closer, and can be read comfortably.
Reading at this angle is extremely natural. If you’re at a bookstore or a library and you pick a book off the shelves while you’re browsing, you’ll likely hold the book at the same angle as the slant board. Your body automatically chooses the most comfortable setting.
As adults, we’re becoming increasingly aware of the importance of ergonomics in our workspaces. From your chair to the desk to your lighting, all these elements come into play when creating an optimal work environment.
We need to continue with the same approach for our children’s work surface, regardless of the proliferation of iPads, Nooks, Kindles and other digital tools for eBooks. No matter what the media, you need the proper angle to comfortably read.
Visit The Vision Therapy Center’s Facebook page, and you can sign up for our Slant Board giveaway contest.
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