Back to School

With the new school term about to start, Melanie Clark from Malton Chiropractic is highlighting the risks that school children may be under. From the bag and shoes they choose, to the amount of TV they watch, young people are constantly putting a strain on their posture. A sedentary lifestyle could also put children at risk of developing back pain later in life.

Past surveys have revealed that:

Unsurprisingly, school-age children spend large amounts of time in sedentary positions watching TV, playing games consoles and using a computer. Spending long periods of time sitting still puts pressure on the spine.

Kids often lie down on their front to watch TV or play console games – lying with the head tilted back in this way can load the small joints in the neck and lower back. 

Types of school bags vary and, whilst many kids use a rucksack for school, these are often not adjusted correctly to maximise their benefit.

Most children no longer walk to school, travelling instead by bus, train or car. 

Melanie suggests that many of the risks to children’s backs can be minimised by correcting bad habits.  “Even something as simple as a child using the two straps on his or her rucksack, rather than one, can make all the difference.”

Melanie makes the following recommendations for parents as they prepare their children for the new school year ahead.

  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, with the straps 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 their bag each day to make sure that all the items in there are required.

  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.

  Exercise – lack of exercise is your child’s worst enemy. Encourage them to take regular exercise; the fitter your child is, the less likely they are to injure themselves.

  Move around – Staying still for a long time is bad for your spine. Limit your child to small sittings of no more than 40 minutes on the computer or watching TV, before they get up and do something else for a while.

  Computer posture– when using a PC or a computer console - make sure they

are set up so they are sitting comfortably and their spine is supported. 

For further information contact Melanie Clark clinic at Malton Chiropractic Clinic on 01653 228026 or