Our Oakville neighbours are returning and starting school over this next week. With changes in schedules there is often some adjustment period. Our Physio’s, RMT’s, Chiropodist and Yoga Therapist are all here to help make this transition easier. It’s a great time to begin new habits when it comes to lifestyle and wellness.
Here are some tips form our Oakville Physio Nada to make back-to-school easier!
Many students will experience back pain from carrying their heavy backpacks to, from and around school.
It’s important to buy a backpack that will help minimize the load being put through the spine.
- Pick out a backpack with wide straps and a padded back.
- Make sure the straps are snug (but not too tight) to keep the load closer to your body.
- A pack with a strap across the middle can also help reduce the load on the spine. Its also important to wear your backpack properly.
- Use both straps to carry it; avoid draping your backpack over just one shoulder.
- Make sure to load your backpack properly, keep heavier items towards the back to keep load close to your body.
- Remember that a backpack should only weigh 10-15% of a student’s body weight so try to only take essentials to and from school.
- Visit your locker throughout the day to switch binders and carry some books in your arms rather than overloading your backpack.
Ensure you have a designated work station for your studies. Lots of students opt to study off their floor or on their bed. Though this seems more comfortable, it strains your spine, legs and arms. Here are some guidelines to follow to make sure your work station minimizes aches and pains:
- Sit at a desk or table in a supportive chair
- Sit with your bum all the way to the back of the chair
- Keep your hips and knees bent at a right angle with your feet flat on the floor
- Put your computer screen or laptop at eye level so that your neck is in a neutral position while you’re studying
- Make sure your desk is at a height where your arms aren’t stretching too far up or down
- Keep your wrists in a neutral position – not bent in either direction to avoid repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome
- Don’t lean on your elbows to help avoid nerve compression in your arms
Remember to take breaks while you’re studying no matter how exciting your subject matter may be. Its important to move postures to avoid stiffness. Its helpful to set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to get up and stretch out. Try and take a break once an hour to avoid pain and stiffness.
Best of luck to all the students starting school! Hope your year is one to remember 😊