If your children are headed back to school later this month then read on, this post is for you even though it’s about them.
It’s time we talked behind your kid’s back. Literally.
Being a chiropractor I might sound biased, but now is the perfect time to set your child up for success at school this year and make sure that their bodies look after them throughout.
Over the space of two posts about getting ready to be back at school, I want to challenge you to think a little differently about how you send your little one (and let’s face it, they are always your little one even when they aren’t physically so little any more) off to commence their school year.
In the video below, the Australian Chiropractors Association have spoken to a number of parents about their thoughts and experiences with how their children are affected by their back packs.
I think it’s an important reminder that, especially when they are young, our children’s spines are still developing, so the stress and strain that we put upon them physically can literally play a role in how their body works for the rest of their life.
The rest of this post might seem familiar to a few of you, and that’s because it is a slight edit of our back to school post from last year. The reason it remains largely unchanged is that the information is still accurate, the message still relevant, and our commitment to you through free back pack fitting for your children is ongoing.
So what happens when back packs aren’t right?
An ill fitting, incorrectly worn or over weight back pack can be a precursor to spinal issues and even exacerbate existing problems.
in fact, research suggests that back packs should not be heavier than 10-15% of the body weight of the child carrying it, yet how many times have you picked up your child's bag and thought it would be uncomfortable for YOU to wear?
An international study printed in Spine found that 79.1% of children find their backpacks are heavy, and 46.1% complained that their bags caused back pain.
This is made worse by the fact that in the same study, it was discovered that even though nearly half of the students had back pain, 33% of all of the students were still wearing their back packs too low!
If you want an idea of what happens to posture and spines when you wear a back pack incorrectly, see the photos of our amazing practice model Nicholas below. Nicholas has great posture and is more active than an average boy of his age. (On top of that, he is hilarious and an absolute gun for being a part of this post!) As you can see, none of that matters when he wears his bag incorrectly.
Nicholas shows us what happens when your back pack is too low, note that his head is forward, his shoulders are rolled and his low back has increased curve.
The reality is, this overloading and incorrect loading of your child's spine may be putting them at risk of longer term spinal damage.
Add that to the time spent sitting or looking at the screen of a phone or iPad and....well I don't need to tell you what this means for posture.
I have previously discussed the issues with poor posture at other times in this blog, (for a look at a more in depth discussion about posture, read the post here) but in summary, poor posture is bad, and the longer it's left unmanaged the worse things get.
SO WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
At Align we are concerned about the future of younger generation's health and posture, which is why Martin and I will be providing free back pack assessments to ensure that your child starts the year off with their best foot forward.
It is always fascinating to see how a small adjustment to a child's backpack can have far reaching effects.
If you would like to book a Back Pack assessment for your children, please do not hesitate to contact us on 9696 1057.