May is Correct Posture Month. In a May 6, 2004 Yahoo news release is a story from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) proclaiming May as Correct Posture Month. The article notes that a new study published in the journal ‘Spine’ revealed an urgent need for health promotion programs to increase awareness and reduce risks in the school environment, such as heavy backpacks, desks and chairs that don’t fit their users, and an absence of physical activity during recess.
During Correct Posture Month, the ACA is urging school administrators, teachers, and parents’ organizations to more closely examine these unexpected dangers lurking in our schools. Parents and schools need to become more aware of the risks associated with heavy backpacks, improper computer ergonomics and physical inactivity.
The article listed a series of recommendations related to posture in several different categories. These are:
- Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 10 percent of his or her bodyweight. A backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
- Make sure your child’s workstation chair fits him or her correctly. Limit your child’s time at the computer and make sure he or she takes periodic breaks during computing time.
- Children should participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
- Make sure your kids are getting plenty of rest.
The release noted that young children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations, and the use of overweight backpacks is a contributing factor. The release also noted that at least 70 percent of America’s 30 million elementary school students use computers, according to a recent New York Times article. As a result, many children are already suffering from chronic pain in the hands, back, neck and shoulders, as well as repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
The release also recommends chiropractic care for children. They note that a doctor of chiropractic can offer advice on lifestyle changes to keep children fit and healthy.