Summer is a fun time to relax and enjoy life before it’s time to go “back to school.” For many people, young and old alike, the months of August and September mean they’ll go from attending music festivals outdoors to sitting in a classroom, learning about all sorts of things, as school’s back in session.
Since school typically involves sitting for long periods of time, as well as hauling heavy backpacks around campus, here are some tips to help put less strain on your back, neck and shoulders during the long days ahead.
First, a good backpack is essential, since it’ll be with you day after day and night after night. Your backpack should be lighter rather than heavier, fit snuggly without being too tight, and, ultimately, comfortable so you’re not dreading having to put it on and wear it. Look for backpacks made of vinyl or canvas, featuring two wide and padded shoulder straps along with a waist strap.
Next, pack a backpack so that the heaviest objects end up closest to your body and the oddly shaped ones are more toward the “outside,” away from your body.
Besides wearing a backpack, going to school often means sitting at a desk or table in order to listen to the teacher. Good posture can help eliminate strain on your lower back as well as your neck and shoulders. Every now and then check yourself regarding posture: are your shoulders back rather than hunched forward, is your chin tucked in, and are you sitting such that your ears, shoulders and hips are all in a straight line? If so, good! Meanwhile, whenever you get a chance to stand up, walk around, and/or stretch, do it.
For college kids moving into dorms, there are usually lots of boxes and heavy lifting involved. Keep objects as close to the body as possible and use your hips and knees to lift stuff rather than relying on your back. Get a good grip– boxes with handles work best. If a box is “too heavy,” take some stuff out of it.
Be sure to visit Lakewoods Chiropractic for regular adjustments throughout the school year to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. To schedule an appointment, call 651-464-0800.