Supporting Fertility with Acupuncture at Any AgeAugust 24, 2023
Back to School Ergonomics for Kids
If you are starting to see school supplies on sale at the stores, that means summer is coming to an end and kids will be going back to school soon! Back-to-school shopping can be fun for children. They might want their favourite character backpacks or shoes that are trendy, but it is important to also consider ergonomic factors.
What to look for when buying a backpack
It is essential to pick a backpack with proper support for your child. An excellent backpack will have a padded back support, cushioned and adjustable straps, and many compartments. The additional padding in the back and straps create more comfort while wearing the backpack. More compartments also help distribute the weight of items inside evenly. Lastly, make sure to purchase a size-appropriate backpack for your child that meets their needs without being too big or small.
How should a backpack fit on your child?
Make sure to tighten the straps on the backpack—it shouldn’t sit higher than the shoulders or lower than the hips. Show your kids how to put heavy items at the bottom of the backpack or close to their back, and lighter objects in compartments outside or at the top. Children should never carry a backpack that exceeds 15% of their bodyweight; 10% or less is ideal. Additionally, kids must learn how to properly pick up and wear their backpack. Make sure they use their legs to lift it, keep their back straight, and avoid leaning too far to either side!
One of the best things about being back at school is getting to play with friends and move around more on your feet! The main objectives of shoes for young children are shock absorption and protection while they play and also allowing their feet to grow and develop properly.
Things to consider:
- Lightweight and flexible to support natural foot movement
- Made with breathable material
- Sole with good traction to prevent slipping
- Wider toe box
- Good shock absorption
A good way to avoid future musculoskeletal pain for your child is by investing in a well-made chair and desk where they can do their work. Also, designating a specific area for schoolwork will help them focus better. When choosing a reasonably priced chair, be sure to look for one with back support and height adjustability. If the seat is too low or high in relation to the desk, it’ll cause bad posture when writing or reading which then causes arm strain.
Things to consider:
- Back and neck relatively straight when seated in chair
- Elbow at about 90-100 degrees when forearms rested on desk
- Feet fully planted on the floor (use a stool if needed)
Make sure your child’s computer or tablet is at eye-level when they are using it for school (you can prop it up with boxes if needed!) Place the keyboard within a comfortable reach and ensure their wrists are in neutral position when typing. Because bone growth doesn’t stop until early adulthood (20s), we should teach our children how to protect themselves at a young age to help prevent any musculoskeletal injuries in the future.
Written by: Dr. Christy Yip, Vancouver Chiropractor