Every January, thousands of Australian children return to school where they will be immersed in an environment of learning, playing and socialising. It’s important that their environment supports their health and wellbeing so they can continue to focus on what’s important. Being kids!
Spending hours in the classroom every day, children don’t often think about the impact this has on their spinal health and overall wellbeing. This Back to School season the Australian Chiropractors Association is encouraging children and their families to build positive health habits.
‘Back to School’ is a health initiative by the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) that aims to raise awareness on the importance of spinal health in children as they grow and develop.
ACA is encouraging young Aussies to adopt the following practical and useful health habits all year round.
Before kids even step through the school gates, they are already putting their spines to use by carrying large, often heavy backpacks. With so much that goes into a child’s backpack, it’s important that they are packed correctly, including:
- Only packing essentials to lessen the load, perhaps use school lockers if available.
- Packing the heaviest items closest to the spine and make sure all zippers are done up all the way.
- Securing the sternum and waist straps (they’re there for a reason).
- Always wearing both straps. Tell the kids it’s not cool to ‘one-strap it’ anymore.
- Reducing the time spent wearing the backpack to no more than 30 minutes at any one time.
See the backpack that has our tick of approval, the Spartan Chiropak II
Kids spend a large chunk of their day sitting down at desks, so it’s important that they maintain good posture by sitting with their shoulders back and relaxed, with their chair tucked in and both feet firmly on the floor.
3. Screen Time
Screens, computers and smart devices are commonly used in classrooms for learning purposes these days. It is important to monitor the recreational screen time and try and reduce this to two hours a day,1 or at least maintain a balance between screen activities and non-screen related activities.
Maintaining a nutritious diet is important at any age, but especially for growing and developing children. Eating a balanced, healthy diet is essential to keeping kids alert in the classroom and active in the playground.
5. Physical Activity
Participating in physical activity in school, at home or part of a weekend sporting club is key for a child’s health and wellbeing. As a guide, kids should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity everyday.1
Find a Chiro
These tips are key to helping children practice positive health habits, not just for the back to school season but all year round! Your local ACA chiropractor can also provide advice and assistance on getting back to school ready, including how to maintain spinal health and overall wellbeing.
Straighten Up App
See how spines are affected by backpacks with the Straighten Up augmented reality (AR) experience!
Visit your local ACA chiropractor to pick up the AR card, download the Straighten Up app, scan the card and watch the character come to life.
1 Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Young People (5 to 17 years): An Integration of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep, Department of Health, 2019.