Pack your bags to go back to school

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FEELING GREAT: So, the summer holidays are over.

Your children are back at school. And if it hasn’t happened already, how long before your child begins to moan about the amount of notepads, library books and PE stuff, that they have to lug around with them on their backs all day?

It’s a regular complaint by many children. And although to you it might just seem like a bit of twisting, it is actually one that they should continue to shout about.

Their spinal health depends upon it.

For spending the best part of 10 years carrying a heavy load on your back in the wrong way, at a time in your adolescent years when your body is still developing, could set you up for a life time of spinal problems.

And it’s one that some adults still get wrong.

Next time your postman delivers your mail, catch a glimpse of the bag over his or her shoulder.

Can you imagine the cumulative effect of the weight that comes with carrying all of the People of Hartlepool’s debt letters, in a bag on your shoulder?

The effect on that person’s spine isn’t great.

Not to mention there’s an awkward looking postural appearance beginning to set in.

But you don’t have to be a postman to suffer spinal ill health from having poor posture.

Every day you sling your bag over your shoulder or carry your shopping in a certain way, you are adding problems to your spine in a way that it’s not designed to cope.

If you’re carrying a bag, best to find one with shoulder straps and carry it over both shoulders and even better, one with a waist belt or strap to assist in the carrying of it.

It might not look great, but your spine will thank you for it.

Anyway, back to your children. The most vulnerable time for them, and the time for you to really pay attention is between the ages of 13-15, which is usually when they begin to grow.

So watch out if your child is having a growth spurt at the minute, they’re now most at risk of weakening their spines.

So, if you want to avoid them sitting in front of a physio like me in a few years time, here are a few things to note about packing their bags before bed tonight.

l Always aim to put the heaviest stuff such as text books or training shoes at the bottom.

l Make sure that they use a backpack style bag that is carried over both shoulders.

To only carry it over one or the other shoulder, will cause problems with their spines.

l Avoid the bag hanging below their waste. It might be the fashion, but it adds pressure to weak spines untold.

l If possible, chose a bag with a waist or belt strap that will avoid the bag from swinging around and adding extra stress to their spines.