Sitting, studying, stressing, repeat. That can make up a good portion of students’ day. With mid-term exams, essays and readings, we often find an influx of students visiting our clinics for chiropractic care and massage therapy. While most are aware of the importance of good posture, especially with the increased news coverage over topics such as “Text Neck” and “Sitting Is The New Smoking”, many continue with their bad habits. These posture habits can lead to pain and discomfort in the back and neck, and contribute to headaches and other aches and pains.
There are four things that can easily be implemented to help students improve their posture:
1. Protecting You Lower Back
Maintaining your lumbar curve while you sit, reduces the amount of with your muscles and joints have to do. When you are in a slouched posture, you alter your lumbar curvature and your body has to rely more on the muscles in the lower back to support you. This will lead to muscular fatigue, stretch ligaments and pain. You can use a small sweater or a BackVitalizer to help support your lumbar curve. Making sure you are sitting in a comfortable chair with lumbar support can also be helpful. Placing your feet flat on the ground and crossing at the ankles instead of the knees can reduce the strain on your lower back.
2. Limit Your Laptop Use
Laptops have become the main computer that we use due to the convenience of their portability. However, they wreak havoc on our necks, backs and shoulders. There is nothing ergonomic about a laptop. It’s inevitable that you will end up hunched forward in poor posture while working away on your essays and papers. What you can do, however, is opt for an external keyboard that you can plug into your computer. You can then prop your computer up on a box, milk crate, or stack of books to an appropriate height. This will make a tremendous difference to the health of your neck, back and shoulders.
3. Get Up And Move Around
Our bodies love movement. Getting up and moving around regularly is the best thing that you can do. For easy stretches, check out Straighten Up Canada. It’s a free app that can help get you moving.
4. Don’t Overload Your Backpack
Did you know, we are only supposed to carry 10-15% of our body weight? This includes the weight of the backpack itself. When you think about carrying your laptop, maybe a book or two, your lunch and a water bottle, you’re probably already over the weight you should carry. On top of that, most people do not wear their backpacks properly. For tips on how to properly choose and wear your backpack, check out our blog post Backpack Tips For The School Year.
Correct posture can be a challenge to maintain. Making small changes like those described above can go a long way in improving your posture and reducing your chances of neck pain, back pain and headaches. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort or have more questions about how your posture can improve, book an appointment with one of our chiropractors, physiotherapists, or registered massage therapists. Book online or call us at our Byward clinic (613-869-8600) or our Glebe Clinic (613-237-9000).