From the heavy book bags to the increase in sedentary lifestyles, our kids today are complaining of back and joint pain. To help, Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist Hashim Zaka provides some practical tips.
- 1. While sitting in school, the hip, knees, and ankle joint need to be in the 90 degrees position, bottom comfortably tucked at the back of the chair, back rested on the backrest, arms comfortable on the desk in front or on the armrests so that shoulders are in the neutral position: This will automatically bring the head and neck into a neutral and comfortable position. Sitting in this position will help the muscles, eliminate discomfort, and kids will also be able to give more attention to the lecture.
- 2. Limit the time they use their smartphones and tablets: It is almost impossible to keep good posture while we are giving our attention to those gadgets so the best tip is to limit the time of the continuous using. For example, instead of 30 minutes in one go, read something and then leave it for a while, stretch and move around before coming back to it. Do not spend more than 20 minutes continuously reading or doing school work on the tablet.
- 3. Change positions often: When you feel stiff, get up and stretch, instead of moving in the chair from one side to the other.
- 4. Engage in a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity: Parents can help with this and engage together with their kids in a physical activity they all enjoy. It makes it more interesting and likely to be practiced regularly.
- 5. If your child cannot avoid carrying heavy school items every day than the weight needs to be symmetrically balanced on the body: Now we have school bags designed as a trolley, however, kids need to be careful to avoid pulling the trolley with the same hand.
- 6. If you feel discomfort and/or pain for longer than a few days, visit a doctor or physiotherapist.