Don’t Let Student Life Ruin Your Posture
Sitting, studying, stressing, repeat. That can make up a good portion of a student’s day. During this time of year with mid-term exams, essays, and readings, we often find an influx of students visiting our clinics for chiropractic care and massage therapy. While most are aware of the importance of good posture, especially with the increased news coverage of topics such as “Text Neck” and “Sitting Is The New Smoking”, many continue with their bad habits. These posture habits can lead to pain and discomfort in the back and neck, contribute to headaches, and other aches and pains.
There are four things which can easily be implemented to help students improve their posture:
1. Protecting You Lower Back
Maintaining your lumbar curve while you sit, reduces the amount of work your muscles and joints have to do. When you are in a slouched posture, you alter your lumbar curvature and your body has to rely more on the muscles in the lower back to support you. This leads to muscular fatigue, overstretch of the ligaments and pain. You can use a small sweater or a BackVitalizer to help support your lumbar curve. Making sure you are sitting in a comfortable chair with lumbar support can also be helpful. Placing your feet flat on the ground and crossing at the ankles instead of the knees can reduce the strain on your lower back. Using a footrest also improves your lumbar curve while seated.
2. Limit Your Laptop Use
Laptops have become the main computer that we use due to the convenience of their portability. However, they wreak havoc on our necks, backs, and shoulders. There is nothing ergonomic about a laptop. It’s inevitable that you will end up hunched forward in a poor posture while working away on your essays and papers. What you can do, however, is opt for an external keyboard that you can plug into your computer, and place within close reach. You can then prop your computer up on a box, milk crate, stack of books to an appropriate height, right in front of your eyes. This will make a tremendous difference to the health of your neck, back, and shoulders.
3. Get Up And Move Around
Our bodies love movement. Getting up and moving around regularly is the best thing that you can do. For easy stretches, check out Straighten Up Canada. It’s a free app that can help get you moving regularly.
4. Don’t Overload Your Backpack
Did you know, we are only supposed to carry 10-15% of our body weight? This includes the weight of the backpack itself. When you think about carrying your laptop, maybe a book or two, your lunch and a water bottle, you’re probably already over the weight you should carry. On top of that, most people do not wear their backpack properly. For tips on who to properly choose and wear your backpack, check out our blog post Backpack Tips For The School Year.
Correct posture can be a challenge to maintain. Making small changes like those described above can go a long way in improving your posture and reducing your chances of neck pain, back pain, and headaches.
Our clinics serve many students from the University of Ottawa, Carleton, and Algonquin College. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort or have more questions about how your posture can improve, book an appointment with one of our chiropractors and registered massage therapists by calling the clinic at 613.237.9000.