It’s hard to believe that it’s Labor Day already…where did the summer go? If you still have children in school, whether it’s grades K-12 or college, they are likely already past the introductory class and into the semester. For you, it may be a time of mixed blessings—you’ve enjoyed the summer with them, but you’re ready to have them back out of the house. For your kids, though, while school can be a time to reconnect with close friends they haven’t seen for a few months, it’s almost always a time of stress, both mental and physical. In this blog, we look at some ways that you can promote your children’s physical health during the academic year.
Make Certain They Have the Right Backpack
Let’s face it…it’s standard issue now. It’s hard to imagine a student without a backpack. It’s much better than the old days of trying to sling all your books under one arm, but you want to pay close attention to ensure that your child’s backpack isn’t doing more harm than good. Here are some basic recommendations:
- Find a lightweight backpack—canvas and vinyl are good choices
- Make certain the backpack fits snugly against your child’s body
- At a minimum, you want two wide, padded straps at the shoulders. A waist strap may be the height of nerd-dom, but it has ergonomic benefits
Take time to help your children learn the best way to pack the backpack. If you start by putting the heaviest items in the back of the pack, that will minimize the stress on your child’s shoulders. If you have odd-shaped or sharp objects, put them on the outside of the pack. Otherwise, your child will either be uncomfortable or will adjust his or her gait to avoid being poked. Under no circumstances should the total weight of the pack exceed 10% of your child’s body weight.
Talk to Your Children about Their Posture
We understand that you won’t be there while they are in class. But if you pay attention to their posture at home, it will become second nature to them and there’s a good chance they’ll have better posture at their desks at school. Don’t underestimate the importance of posture—it’s one of the major contributors to back and neck problems.
Here are some of the fundamentals:
- Feet should always be on the floor
- Shoulders should be relaxed
- The back of the chair is there for a reason—their back should be against it
- Head should be above the shoulders, with chin pulled in
- Computer screens and books should be at eye level
Schedule an Appointment with Premier Health Center
Get relief from the pain caused by an auto accident. Contact our office online or call us at 817-261-6100 to set up an appointment with Dr. Gittiban. We are available Monday through Thursday, from 9 am to 6 pm, and Fridays from 9 am to noon. We also see patients on the first Saturday of each month. Our offices are conveniently located on South Bowen, just off Highway 20 near the Parks Mall.