5 Easy Back To School Tips
It’s back-to-school time and all this encompasses; back packs, homework, books, school sports, the odd sports or playground injury, and trips to school. The activity can be great for you and the kids, but heavy backpacks and poor posture can lead to various issues later on in life.
Here are 5 easy tips that will help keep the entire family healthy for back-to-school:
1. Find a good backpack! A good pack is light, snug, and comfortable to wear. It should be made of vinyl or canvas, with two wide padded shoulder straps and a waist strap. All straps should be adjusted so the pack is snug against the wearer’s back, and not “falling away” from the body.
A quality back pack is only as good as the way it is packed! Make sure the heaviest objects are close to the body and any bumpy, odd-shaped objects are placed on the outside, away from the back.
The weight of the backpack should be equivalent to a maximum of 15% of your total body weight!
2. Help set you and your back up for success when you’re hitting the books! When you are studying or reading, find a quiet place where you can concentrate on what you’re doing. Ensure you maintain proper eye level to either your book or computer by using a stand or pillow to prop the book or computer on. This will reduce the amount of strain on your neck and shoulders from having your book lay flat. Ensure you are implementing the “rule of 90’s” when it comes to sitting posture. Lastly, make sure you have a water bottle on your desk so you can take frequent small sips.
3. Returning back to school sports after some time off during the summer? If you have taken time off, you may need to spend some extra time helping your body return to pre-summer shape.
Be sure to warm up for a minimum of 10-15 minutes before playing. The warm up should involve simple movements that are sport specific your sport and also increase your heart rate. Remember, stretch before activity to prevent injury and stretch after to promote flexibility.
4. Moving your kids into their college dorm room, new apartment, or re-organizing your den? Improper lifting of moderate to heavy objects is one of the most common ways to injure your lower back. Be sure to label your boxes so that you or individuals helping you know what can be found inside, and how heavy they will be.
Before lifting make sure you have balanced footing and a good grip (boxes with handles are ideal).
When you are ready to lift or move an object, stand so that your nose, hips, and toes are facing it. Keep the object as close to your body as possible, bend with your knees and hips, and lift while engaging your quad (thigh) muscles.
5. Commuting. Sometimes the commute in is easy, while other days it seems you are stuck in never ending traffic. Ensure you have positioned your seat and head rest to abide by the “rule of 90’s”, have your water bottle handy, and give yourself more time than needed. It’s better to arrive safely, even if that means you might be a few minutes late!
Have a great weekend,
Dr. Crysta Serné
Chiropractor and owner of Vitality Clinic