If you’ve ever been a student , chances are you’ve dealt with back, neck and shoulder pain that comes with lugging around heavy books, laptops and other necessities. Starting from an early age, students are made to carry potentially harmful amounts of weight in their backpacks. An amount of weight that unfortunately tends to increase as we move from grade to grade.
Good habits start young, so the earlier we train ourselves to practice good posture and back health, the better off we’ll be. To avoid unpleasant complications and the dreaded hunchback later in life, here are 3 important back health tips for students of all ages.
1. If you have a locker, use it
If you’re lucky enough to have a locker at school, use it. Using your locker for storage can dramatically reduce the amount of weight you carry around campus. When you get to school in the morning, leave your books and materials for afternoon classes in your locker. At lunch time, do the same with your morning class materials. Store anything overnight that you don’t need to take home.
If you live on a college campus or drive to school, try dropping off heavy books in your car or dorm in between classes. Be smart about what you carry and avoid overloading your backpack as much as possible. Your back, shoulders and neck will thank you at the end of the day.
2. Adjust the fit of your backpack or consider a backpack with wheels
We know rolling backpacks don’t exactly scream ‘cool’, but they sure can make a difference with injury prevention and maintaining good posture. Lifting heavy bags and backpacks repeatedly throughout the day can be very demanding on the muscles and joints and is likely to lead to injury or discomfort. Most rolling backpacks also include straps, making them incredibly versatile and easy to use anywhere.
If a rolling backpack isn’t your thing, make sure your backpack is adjusted properly so it puts the least amount of strain on your back and shoulders. Tighten the straps so your backpack fits snugly and sits high on the back. Don’t let it hang below your waistline or let it sway from side to side. This puts pressure on your shoulders and makes it difficult to maintain good posture. Lastly, always wear both straps rather than slinging your bag over one shoulder and use the waist clip if available.
3. Avoid slumping at your desk
Even though slouching or leaning back at your desk might seem comfortable for a while, doing so for long periods of time can result in a slew of negative outcomes. When your body is engaged, so is your mind. For starters, you become less engaged with what is happening in the classroom. Being in this disengaged state is known have to have a direct effect on memory, making it more difficult to retain information being presented to you. Sitting up straight will also help you feel less tired, giving you more energy to get through the rest of your day.
To make sure you are sitting properly at your desk, sit with a straight spine, parallel to the back of your chair. Try to keep your feet on the ground and your legs bent at 90 degrees. If you are using a computer, align your keyboard so it sits towards the edge of your desk and the letter G is center with your bellybutton.
Good posture bonus: Standing tall means you’ll look and feel more confident (and attractive). Public speaking and class presentations can be incredibly nerve-racking. Get an extra boost of confidence by lifting your head up and putting your shoulders back. Making this simple correction has been shown to have a significant impact on how we feel about ourselves and we are perceived by others.
Help your student stand tall this year with Lumo Lift
Lumo Lift is a small lightweight wearable that tracks and coaches you on your posture, as well as tracks daily activity, such as steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. Compatible with iOS/iPhone, Windows desktop and select Android devices. Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and 1 year limited warranty.
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