REMEMBER: PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN A CURE
This leaflet is aimed at adolescents. If a younger child experiences backache you are advised to consult a GP as soon as possible.
• Children, like adults can suffer from back pain
• The spine is designed to perform many functions
• It has to be flexible to allow us to bend and twist and also strong so we can walk, run, carry and lift
• Not all backs are the same shape, but they are normally curved in a gentle S–shape. This S-shape needs to be maintained.
• The muscles surrounding our spine are very important
• There are 3 layers of back and tummy muscles
• The deep muscles are often called the “core” muscles. They help to keep our spine strong and stable. When these muscles are weak, our spines are at more at risk of injury and pain.
Imagine that your pelvis is a bucket full or water. If you tip your bucket forwards, water will trickle out the front. If you tip your bucket backwards, water will trickle out the back. Try to keep your bucket exactly level so that water would not trickle out.
• Sit on a supportive chair
• Feet on the ground, hips slightly higher than knees.
• The top of the computer screen should be at eye level
• The keyboard or laptop should be at elbow height
• Keep the mouse close to the body, keep your shoulders relaxed
• Remember to take regular short breaks away from the computer / desk e.g. 5 mins in every 30 mins of constant computer use
Minimise time spent sitting down
• Soft furniture, such as a sofa, moulds to the body but offers little support to maintain a good posture. Change position regularly and take regular breaks from your device.
• If your arms are too low when using a tablet or phone it forces you to bend your neck further to see the screen. Put a cushion or two on your lap to support your arms and keep the device in a more elevated position, to help prevent neck pain.
• Some games require lots of repetitive movements, such as serving a virtual tennis ball with the arm or rapid shooting with the thumb. In general, it is better to change activities regularly and use different parts / actions of the body.
Choose a backpack with padded adjustable shoulder straps