School Bags and Your Child’s Posture

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As chiropractors, we are often educating our patients on the importance of good posture. How poor posture can lead to a musculoskeletal injury, such as a painful back or stiff neck. So it’s critical that we get this message across early on. We should try and teach children how to avoid bad habits with their school bags, as this could lead to health issues later in life.

So here is some advice from the team here at Shrewsbury Chiropractic Clinic.

  • A backpack is a good example. The spine is kept straight if we distribute the weight of the bag’s contents evenly across each shoulder.
  • But don’t make them too heavy. This can cause children to lean forward, as they compensate for the heavy rucksack, in counterbalancing for the backward pull.
  • Increased pressure is put on the hips and lower back, and the neck ends up in an extended position.
  • This can potentially cause pain in all of these areas and can then lead to problems if left unchecked.
  • Ensure your child’s backpack is emptied regularly, so they’re only carrying items they require on a daily basis.
  • Backpacks should be worn on both shoulders. Children have a tendency to wear their backpacks slung over one shoulder, which defeats the point of a bag with two straps. Then the load is significantly weighted on one side of the body, pulling the shoulder down and putting pressure on the neck and spine.
  • Pick a rucksack which has adjustable shoulder straps and hip straps. The bag should sit close to the back. The rucksack should be adjusted accordingly, using the straps. Padding may add extra comfort when carrying a backpack.
  • Evenly distribute the contents of the bag. Put the heavier items at the top. Thus, the shoulders aren’t pulled backwards. This will prevent discomfort and more imbalance.

Please feel free to call us for more information on posture or a complimentary spinal check on (01743) 231600.

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