‘Back’ to School
As the children start to get ready to go back to school it is easy to get caught up in a frenzy of buying new stationery, books and PE kit. However it is important to consider how they will carry all of this and to look at their posture especially if they are working at a computer.
A rucksack is the best type of bag to use as, carried properly, this can help maintain a healthy posture – however many children only use one shoulder which can lead to posture and back problems as the body is unevenly weighted. The rise of popularity of the satchel does mean that many children are “off balance” and this can cause problems with their back. If your child prefers a satchel, then carrying it across their body and alternating the shoulder they use can help avoid twists in their back.
Ensuring that your child doesn’t carry unnecessary items can help reduce the potential for problems, as can encouraging them to carry their rucksack solidly on their back.
Posture when carrying is not the only potential problem for children as they return to school – sitting badly at a computer screen can also lead to back or neck pain.
Simple steps can help prevent back and neck pain for children – whether that’s from carrying schoolbooks or sitting badly. Active Care Chiropractic suggests the following:
- Ensure that your child is not carrying unnecessary items in their bag
- Encourage your child to use a rucksack and to carry it using both shoulders. If they prefer a satchel then ensure that they carry it across their body and alternate the shoulder they use.
- Get your children moving – the fitter that children are the more their backs are able to support them, sitting, standing or walking.
- Encourage them to sit properly when using a computer – keeping their arms relaxed and placing their arms on the desk when typing. The top of the screen should be level with their eyes and their chair should be tilted forward to allow the knees to be lower than their hips and their feet should be flat on the floor.
- Sitting still for long periods of time should be avoided. Taking a break and stretching their arms, shoulders and legs can help to keep muscles more relaxed.