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Backpacks & study desks: Expert chiropractic advice

Back to school always seems to roll around just a little too quickly for my liking. We always seem to spend the last few days in a spin getting new school shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes and stationery. Choosing the right backpack is not only about whether you can fit the computer, books, lunch box and drink bottle in. It’s really important when making our choices we think about the effect it has on our kids posture. We asked Dr Jimmy Fay from Jewells Family Wellness Centre for some expert chiropractic advice on how our kids can enjoy good spinal health at school and when studying.

2 important spinal health tips for kids

Good spinal health might not be the first thing you think of when shopping for back to school, but a little thought can go a long way towards supporting their health through the year.

1. School backpacks

One of the most obvious and problematic issues arise from heavy backpacks loaded with books and equipment. Having a good supportive backpack, worn correctly, can make a world of difference.

  • The backpack itself should be the appropriate size for your child. 
  • The pack should sit in line with the shoulders and stop at the waist line. Any lower than this and it starts to create increased stress in the lower back. 
  • Both shoulder straps should be on the shoulders and tightened snugly. 
  • Heavy items such as books should sit at the bottom of the pack and close to the body. Lighter items can sit higher or inside pockets.

2. Sitting position for study

Our posture when sitting is something that, for better or worse, can help shape a lifelong habit. Our current society has a high level of sitting in our daily lives when we’re at a desk working, driving, or watching TV. Sitting is not an issue, but there are a few things to think about when sitting. 

  • Position – sitting tall with a straight spine in a supportive chair will make a world of difference in the long run for spinal health. 
  • Timing – the longer we sit the more our body becomes fatigued, leading to poor posture. For kids, getting up every 20 – 30 minutes and stretching will help the body and also helps stimulate the brain, allowing for more concentration and productivity.
  • Type of chair – the type of chair used when sitting can either help or hinder our ability to create good posture. Dining room chairs tend to do more harm than good. Although they can be expensive, a study chair is specifically designed to allow for longer periods of correct sitting and is very much worth the investment! If possible, take your child to an office furniture store and find out the exact type of chair that would be best for their body type.

Chiropractic care

As a chiropractor, I often see kids who have spinal issues from a very young age. Chiro care for kids is a safe and effective way to help resolve issues and to help guide good habits for long term spinal health 

There are many things that impact kids’ spinal health. Just implementing the advice above will mean you have gone a very long way in helping your child not only survive but thrive through the coming year, as well as teaching good life-long habits.


Dr Jimmy Fay

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