Back to School can be a Pain in the Neck for Students of all Ages

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Seattle chiropractic center, Belltown Spine and Wellness, offers advice to students returning for fall classes on how to avoid back pain.

As another summer vacation comes to a close, students of all ages prepare to head back to school. Shifting gears from a summer of physical recreation to that of the demanding mental rigors of education can be difficult for students at any age. That is why Seattle chiropractor, Belltown Spine and Wellness, would like to alert students of all ages to the demands they place on their backs and necks during the school year.

Here is a list of a few common back and neck issues that students of all ages can encounter and ways to alleviate or avoid them altogether:

Books, Bags and Backpacks
Even with the internet, books remain a major tool for educators of all levels. They can also be very heavy and cause severe back pain. Be selective of how many books you cram into your bag at any one time. Bags should be selected that aren't too big for this very reason and designed to redistribute the weight evenly. Backpacks should have wide shoulder straps and be worn using both straps, the way they are intended. Don't be ashamed to use bags with wheels that look like airplane luggage if you need all those books...they can really help.

Study, Study, Study
Long hours of sitting during intense study sessions can be very hard on the back and neck. Even though focus is a crucial component for effective study habits, schedule in frequent breaks. Sitting for longer than 30 minutes can be problematic. Taking frequent breaks is hard at first, but in time, resuming the focus necessary to study will become easier and will actually provide better results. If you must sit for longer than 30 minutes, like in class, be sure to use the proper sitting technique, with feet flat on the floor and thighs parallel to the feet.

Positioning Computer Screens
With the abundance of mobile technologies, back problems and computer screens have evolved together. If you are still using the more traditional monitor style, make sure it is positioned at arms length and at eye level. Looking down for extended periods of time can have a negative long term impact on back and neck health. Portable devices make this problematic, so should be used with frequent breaks scheduled in.

Bicycle Commuting
Riding a bike to campus is a great way to save money on parking and gas, as well as staying in shape. Just remember to leave enough time to warm up before jumping on the bike. Using bags that attach to the bike can also help reduce back pain, while being a safer alternative.

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Scott Mindel
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