Back to school time can be busy and stressful, not just for the kids! What better time to get you and your family's spines in good shape for the start of another year.
Whether your child is starting prep (a huge step for kids and parents), starting high school or university or even just moving up a year in their schooling, huge changes take place in young and growing minds and bodies at this integral time of year.
Numerous stressors are placed on our kids' bodies during this sometimes hectic period. One of the things we as chiropractors often touch on is posture. Posture becomes increasingly important as school goes back due to the following reasons:
* Increased 'screen time' - using iPads, laptops and computers for learning and homework
* Carrying heavy backpacks
* Poor desk ergonomics
How can we help our kids maintain better posture?
* Set up a proper desk
- A child size desk and chair is ideal, however it is inevitable that kids sometimes share the family desk
- Computer screen should be at eye level
- Thighs should be parallel to the floor (chair height may need to be adjusted)
- Feet should be flat on the floor - use a footrest if legs aren't long enough!
- Elbows should be bent at 90 degrees an dshoulders should be relaxed
* Backpack tips
- Backpack's should be no more than 10% of a students weight when packed
- Choose a backpack with broad, padded shoulder straps
- Use both shoulder straps
- Place all heavy items at the base of the pack, close to the spine, for a better distribution of weight
As mentioned earlier, back to school time isn't only a busy time for students, but also for parents. Making lunches, organising uniforms, getting kids to and from school and sport are all added pressures on already busy lives for parents. As we see all too often in our practice, stress that isn't kept under control can have a detrimental effect on our wellbeing. Poor posture can be a sign of stress, the shoulders creep up and tighten, then the neck muscles, which can lead to headaches. If this sounds too familiar to you, it might be time to have a spinal health check or massage at the practice.