Medical News

Maintaining Good Posture

School bags causing back pain

Heavy backpacks or bags can lead to back problems and poor posture — even shoulder problems and headaches. We’re carrying more baggage around than ever before — and by baggage we don’t mean the emotional weight of traumas past and present. We literally mean baggage: kids are lugging around hefty textbooks, bulging folders and their lunch, dumping more weight into their backpacks (and onto their backs) than ever before. Adults are no better; we’re overstuffing our purses or workbags full of essentials and just-in-case items that leave us lopsided.

School children should not carry anything which weighs more than 10% of their body weight.

Doctors say carrying heavy bags cause neck and back pain, shoulder strain, and fatigue amongst others. “Because when they carry a heavy bag what they do is they tend to bend down too much and they look little short. Otherwise it will have not much of effect.

“Many children transport excessively loaded backpacks, an excess which would not be allowed for workers in employment.”

“Children are also in the habit of carrying bags over just one shoulder.”

It is advised to take to school only what is needed on any given day and ensuring that backpacks are worn over both shoulders.

How can we save the next generation from developing chronic back issues as they get older? Make sure their backpacks fit close to their little bodies and fight for their right to lug around less. Though the common argument is that classroom real estate is at a premium, it’s well worth having a conversation with your child’s teachers to see if they might help institute policies that lighten their load.

Reference:
BBC News: School bags ‘Causing back pain’
NBC News: Why Our Bags Are Wrecking Our Backs

 

Maintaining Good Posture

We often hear that good posture is essential for good health. We recognise poor posture when we see it formed as a result of bad habits carried out over years and evident in many adults. But only few people have a real grasp of the importance and necessity of good posture.

Why is good posture important?

Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. Correct posture:

  • Helps us keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint
  • Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimising the likelihood of
  • Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue.
  • Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular

To maintain proper posture, you need to have adequate muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion in the spine and other body regions, as well as efficient postural muscles that are balanced on both sides of the spine. In addition, you must recognise your postural habits at home and in the workplace and work to correct them, if necessary.

Conscious awareness of your own posture and knowing what posture is correct will help you consciously correct yourself. With much practice, the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down will gradually replace your old posture. This, in turn, will help you move toward a better and healthier body position.

Reference:
American Chiropractic Association: Maintaining Good Posture

Medical Team

Operations-medical@britishschoolmanila.org

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