From the bag and shoes they choose, to the amount of television they watch, young people are constantly putting strain on their posture. With the new school term about to start, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) highlights the importance of choosing the right shoes and bag for children as they go back to school.
A study carried out by the BCA in 2008 found that that the daily school routine can take its toll, with 72% of the nation’s school children carrying around heavy books and sports equipment on their backs for much of the day, which the BCA labels as the ‘snail’ effect, where children literally carry their lives on their backs. The study also found that 45% of children had already suffered some kind of back pain by the time they were 11.
Tim Hutchful, from The British Chiropractic Association comments:
“There are simple steps parents can take to help avoid problems such as checking that children aren’t carrying around unnecessary items in their bags and encouraging them to use a rucksack worn correctly on both shoulders.”
Bag it up
– if your child has to carry a bag to school, make sure you offer advice as to the type of bag they choose. A rucksack is the best option as long as it is carried over both shoulders and the straps are adjusted so that the bag is held close to the back and weight is evenly distributed.
Keep it light
– make sure your child is not carrying any unnecessary excess weight; check that all the items in their bags are essential.
Best Foot Forward
– make sure your child has good footwear; soft-soled shoes that are supportive and have a good grip will make it easier for them to carry a heavy school bag.
– lack of exercise is your child’s worst enemy. Encourage your child to take regular exercise as the fitter your child is the less likely they are to injure themselves.
– staying still for a long time is bad for your spine. Limit your child to small sittings of no more than 30-40 minutes on the computer or watching TV, before they get up and do something else for a while.
– when using a PC or a computer console, make sure they are set up so they are sitting comfortably and their spine is supported. They may not realise that the position they are sitting in is painful because they are being distracted by the games!
Tim Hutchful continues:
“Lack of exercise is certainly children’s number one enemy. The British Chiropractic Association has developed a very simple three minute exercise routine entitled ‘Straighten Up UK’ routine, which is really easy to incorporate into daily life to help strengthen the spine and improve posture.”