Back to School…again!!!

31 Jan 2024 9:54 AM

Mastering Proper Posture While Wearing a Backpack

The months go so quickly, and after 6-8 weeks of school holidays, the parents are itching to get the kids into a routine and the kids are excited to see their friends.


Often, though, important things such as backpacks and posture are the last things on our mind. Kids are resilient, often they have good core strength and spinal tone, and don’t get the pain so much when we are young. But it is often the things that we do to the spine on a regular basis as children that caused a lot of the problems later on. 


So a few things as parents to watch out for are back pack posture and sitting and standing postures.


What do I mean about backpack posture? It is more about the positioning of the backpack that is important. Often there is a recommendation to keep the back pack weight to a 10% load of the child’s own weight. But seriously, that is almost unrealistic, especially in the older years, when the laptop and charger alone weighs about 5% of it. And then you have the humongous water bottle and lunch and not to mention the books and pencil case. So what I recommend is to wear the backpack (preferably not a shoulder sports type bag) on both shoulders and have it positioned as high as it can go so the top of the pack sits up at the shoulders. Also distribute the contents as best you can to have the heavier items close to the body. If there is a waist strap, then use it. Obviously pack sensibly, but sometimes this is not possible.


And what about this sitting posture!!! At the end of the day, your spine should adopt a similar shape when sitting to when you are standing (I will get to more of that later). There should be a curve forward in the lower back, and sitting on the bone prominence in your bottom, and mild curve backwards (no hunchbacks please) in the middle back between the shoulder blades and then a curve forward in the neck (although you can't control this), with the ears over the shoulders and the shoulders over the hips. Getting kids to do this is hard, but lead by example as best you can, and educate them on the importance of spinal health and shape will hopefully sink in. 


Lastly, standing posture, just try to encourage the kids to not drop their weight to one side or push their pelvis forward. To achieve this, stand tall, lifting the back or the head up, like you have a pony tail and it is being pulled up to the sky, so the chin tucks in!!!


At the end of the day, good posture can mean less pain, pain prevention, better oxygen uptake, a more responsive nervous system, less sporting injuries and the list goes on.


What I do know as a mum of 3 (and yes I have to constantly tell them to sit up straight or get off their devices), I don’t ever want to see my child in pain, especially if I could have helped through a bit of nagging, and educating the importance of good posture.

If you find you need some help, give us a call, or have a look at the Posture M8 which can be used in a number of ways to help support your spine to improve posture.