Now the holidays are nearly over and children are going back to school and spending more time at their desks, it is important to ensure that they keep moving. Petina Solly from Chiropractic Health Centre offers some top tips to help safeguard your child’s posture as they return to school. Try weekend family walks and sports activities at school to keep fit and keep back muscles fit and healthy. When playing on a games console or watching TV, kids should be encouraged to take a break on a regular basis and stretch their arms, shrug their shoulders and move their fingers around – this helps to keep the muscles more relaxed. Every 20 minutes or so is ideal.
When sitting at a desk, ensure your child’s arms are relaxed and resting on the desk when typing, which will give some much needed support. The top of the screen should be level with the eyebrows, so you might need to put the monitor on a book or ream of paper. A laptop computer can also be used this way if a plug-in keyboard is used; using a laptop away from a desk really does encourage poor posture, so it’s best to limit time spent in this way. The desk chair should be tilted slightly forward, allowing for the knees to be lower than the hips. Feet should always be flat on the floor.
The lighter your child keeps their school/college bag the better. Teenagers tend to have a lot of heavy books and different pieces of kit to carry each day. Check the contents of bag(s) every day and make sure that only those items needed each time are there. It is surprising how many children (and adults!) carry unnecessary weight in their bags. A rucksack-style schoolbag is always best and this should be worn on both shoulders, with the straps adjusted so that the bag is held close to the back. If your child wants to use a single strap bag/briefcase, make sure it’s one with a longer strap so that it can be worn cross-body, as this will distribute weight more evenly.
For a free check of your child’s school bag, please contact Chiropractic Health Centre on 01483 801160 and the chiropractors will be happy to offer their advice.