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September means one thing for many people … back to school! Routine returns and a whole new year of learning and progress begins. However all that learning can mean heavy schoolbags, hours sitting slouched at a desk, or hunched over a computer. Poor posture anyone?

Poor posture increases tension on your child’s back and can cause shoulder aches, headaches, back pain and fatigue. So its up to us adults to pass on some advice and teach our children how to take care of their back and walk tall! Here are your three top tips …

Ergonomic Schoolbags

Schoolbags that have broad shoulders straps that are adjustable and distribute weight evenly over both shoulders are the best choice. Waist straps that spread weight evenly over the hips and hold the backpack firmly along the back are great too (perhaps not super cool with tweenies in the household … but that’s another days work).

Ideally your child should only be carrying 10% of their body weight in their schoolbag. From talking with parents over my years in practice this unfortunately is rarely the case. Recent research states that over 2/3 thirds are carrying more than the recommended 10%. Encourage your kids to really make sure they are only taking home what they truly need for homework etc.

I don’t recommend roller bags.

This may be going against what you have read elsewhere, but here’s why … Often when empty, they weigh more than a schoolbag empty (so you are already off to a bad start). Additionally, they are usually bigger. The bigger the bag the more goes into it…  Lots of adults are guilty of this too. The bigger my handbag the more it seems accumulate!

However, at the end of the day its up to you and your child. If they outright prefer a roller bag and feel more comfortable with that than a schoolbag… that could be the right choice for them.

Sit Down Properly

Children need a proper space to do their homework. One that suits their body size.

Avoid studying at a table where their feet don’t touch the floor. Avoid sitting twisted on the sofa. The basics are reminding them of good posture when seated and reminding them to move regularly. Even the best desk and the best chair are still not great if you have just sat continuously in them for three or four hours completing an assignment…

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Remind your children to check and improve their posture.

Safe Sports

A good chunk of your child’s day is spent at the school desk, in the car or completing homework. So exercise and movement are more important than ever for their physical and mental well-being. Encourage your children to gently warm up before sport to prepare and improve blood flow around the body.

Tumbles and falls during sport or play are very normal. At the time, they may not seem a big deal, but can become an issue later. Teaching your child about their body and how to take good care of it will serve them well.

Taking preventative action now will ensure that your children have a healthy pain-free back throughout their schooling.

We focused on children’s health on the clinic social media page in September. Check out a few snippets in this video!

More videos from Treasa here.

If you have any further questions regarding this topic please do not hesitate to contact the clinic here. If your child or teenager is complaining of headaches, shoulder pain or back pain, gentle hands-on care at Natural Back Health may be suitable for them.

Remember, addressing a problem sooner rather than later is best. Call today to arrange your first visit!!

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Hopefully you find the general information in this blog informative and helpful, however it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.

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The clinic is located at: The Wisdom Centre, Sophia House, 25 Cork Street, Dublin 8.

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