Happy back to school and work for all who had a summer off! As we ease back into the swing of things, it is good to be aware of how we are spending our school and workdays. The little things can add up, so here is some info and tips to keeping well.
Screentime, whether it be TV, phone, video games or computer use can have effects on our health1. Increased obesity rates, mental illness, and poor sleep have been linked to screen time. In children, we see screen time taking the place of physical activity and play and as we can imagine this can have an impact on their overall health. With sleep, we see delayed bedtimes, shortened total sleep time and even daytime tiredness linked to using our devices! Now this does not mean we can never be on our devices, for many of us it is a non-negotiable to getting work and other important tasks complete… but we can be more cautious of how we spend our time and work to improve this!
Taking active breaks throughout the workday away from the screen is key. Aim for taking 5 minutes every half hour to walk around, stretch, and get our eyes up and off the screen. Every 5-10 minutes look up towards something in the distance and take our gaze away from the screen momentarily – this not only resets the tension in our eyes, face and jaw, but gives our body and mind a quick chance to reset. Once we are home from school and work, set limits for recreational use of technology for yourself (& your kiddos)! Get outside, go for a walk, spend time with loved ones and be mindful of what we are consuming.
Now let’s chat backpacks.
As you may remember, we have discussed in more detail backpack safety in a previous blog. By way of reminder, here are our 4 tips for wearing a backpack2:
- Choose the right backpack – it should be lightweight with wide, adjustable, and padded shoulder straps with a waist strap to keep the bag close to the body.
- Weight limits – a backpack for a child should weigh no more than 10-15 percent of their body weight, same goes for us adults!
- The right way to put it on – place the backpack on a flat service at waist height and then slip it on and adjust. Lift properly as well – use the arms and bend the knees.
- Strap safety – we want the back to be snug to the body. Avoid dangling it low on the back and buckle the waist and chest strap if it has.
Neck, shoulder, midback, low back pain & headaches are associated with screentime and heavy backpack use. If you or your child are experiencing any of these currently, have in the past, want to limit them in the future, or simply continue to feel great and optimize health, WVCWG chiropractors would love to help.
Book an appointment here!
We look forward to helping you through this transition back to routine!
By: Dr. Jess Tamminga (Kempton), D.C.