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Saturday, 02 September 2017 23:07

Spine-To-School

As our kids kick off another school year, it is a great time to refocus on their posture and what can be done to maintain it. As they head back to the buses, these simple modifications can go a long way for their posture.

 

Text Neck

Technology Advances: More and more schools have a one-to-one electronic device to a student every year. As the technology our schools are able to utilize to teach our children increases, so does the increased risk for “Tech Neck”. This is the newest buzz word for excessive use of electronic devices in front of us (computer), or below us (hand held device). It is important to set up good habits for students on the front end of this school year. There are many easy ways to prevent the sore necks that your kids may have complained about in the past. Every child should be encouraged to take breaks from their electronic devices, especially if they are being used for personal reasons. Regardless of what device your kids are using, promote the device being held at eye level to prevent them from looking down for long periods of time. If your child has a tablet for school, tablet stands can be purchased from most department stores for $10-$30. If your older child is working on a computer, remind them to use a chair with a head rest and to keep their head in contact with the head rest. Bring the keyboard back to end the of the table so that their shoulders are not rounded and reaching to type. No matter the device promoting keeping the head and shoulder back and straight as much as possible will help to keep your children happy and in good posture.

 

Backpacks 

Lighten the weight: The most important part of the equation to proper back pack posture is back pack weight. This has been addressed for years, and current guidelines recommend never loading bags more than 10-15% of the child’s weight. This can be accomplished by reminding your kids to only bring home the textbooks they need for that night’s homework, or not lugging around laptops/games devices/etc. that won’t be used.

Disperse the weight: Most backpacks come with multiple compartments. Use them. Utilizing all the compartments in the backpack opposed to only the big one in the back distributes the weight better across the bag creating more balance when it is put on the back of our kids. If last minute shopping is in order, look for a backpack that has wider straps. The wider straps distribute the weight of the backpack over more area of the shoulders which decreases the tension generated. The easiest and most effective change to be made is constantly reminding them to wear both straps. Wearing both straps prevents shoulder hiking, increased muscle tension, and gait alteration.

Center the weight: Backpacks have adjustable straps for a reason. Tightening the bag to the back decreases the load the body has to carry due to its proximity to the body. Physics states the further a mass is from a pivot point (the shoulders) the more weight, or force is generated. Think of a teeter tauter. The closer a child, or in this case backpack, is to the middle the easier it is to move. The easiest way to check this is to watch your child walk. If they are leaning forward at the waist, their shoulders are rounded forward, or their neck has jutted forward something needs to be adjusted.

Written by: Jake Filkins

Published in Blog