Entries by Kym Siddons

How to choose a Schoolbag that’s good for your student’s posture and back

Are you getting your kid’s bags packed and ready for the start of the new school year in 2020?

One of the things parents often ask me is if their student’s school bag might be making their posture worse, or causing them strain and pain.

The short asnwer is ‘YES”. There are a number of ways that bags can contribute to poor posture and strain on children’s bodies.

The good news is there are also a number of things we can do to help minimise this strain and improve their posture 🙂

 

Firstly, choose a bag that helps them distribute weight more evenly across their back.

A backpack is obviously ideal, and even better is a backpack that has a waist strap. This can keep the weight of the bag closer to their back (especially helpful when they’re running!) and distribute some weight lower around their hips and pelvis, taking some load off their shoulders.

 

A satchel with an adjustable shoulder strap is the next best choice. The longer strap allows weight of the bag to be distributed across the body on both sides. The strap whould be longer rather than shorter, to keep the weight close to the pelvis. When the weight is dangling down around the legs it’s very hard to walk evenly.

 

Next, talk with your student about how it’s best for them to carry their bag.

It’s all very well to have selected a great looking bag that should, in theory, help their posture and unload their back and shoulders, but the way they carry it on a daily basis is possibly the most important factor.

We’ve all done it- slung our backpack over one shoulder so we end up taking all the weight through one side!

The key to success is their understanding that carrying their bag unevenly makes a BIG difference. Getting into the habit of putting both straps of a backpack on, or slinging a shoulder strap over their head and across their body takes so much strain off their back and shoulders. 

The more often they can remember to wear their bag properly the better- little healthy choices all add up to help them feel less strain and improve their posture.

 

Finally, try to limit their load. 

The lighter the bag the better… so if they need to use textbooks for home study, see if you can source some second hand ones to stop them needing to carry them to and from school.

Lighter tablets and laptops help, as does clearing out the junk in the bottom on their bag regularly 😉

Lots of gentle reminders during the school term and encouragement when you see them doing the right thing will help.

REmember, kids are only human, and the best prompt for making change will happen when their start to feel their symptoms… so if they’re complaining of a sore neck, back or shoulders, that’s your cue to help them problem solve the ‘Why’?

The wrong bag, worn incorrectly and loaded up, can be part of their problem. Other factors could be their device or desk setup,  poor strength and flexibility, or simply spending too long sitting. These are worth asking about, and you’re welcome to reach out and ask me any questions.

If their soreness or tightness persists, even at a low level please seek help for your student- there’s often a quick and easy solution!

If you’d like some exercises for your family members to do at their desk to help lessen pain and improve their posture and productivity just click on the button below.

Here’s to a fantastic year ahead for you and your students in 2020!

Being ‘Fit 2 Sit’- Having the ‘Physical Resilience’ to cope with work & study demands

Are you ‘Fit 2 Sit’?

Do you feel you have the strength, endurance and flexbility to cope with sitting a lot at a desk?

I refer to this as being ‘Physically Resilient’

… or do you feel tight and tense, perhaps even sore or sluggish, or so tired and struggling to concentrate? 

There’s a lot of talk, and rightly so, about workers’ and students’ resilience… or lack thereof.

When we think of a person’s or group of person’s resilience levels, we’re usually referring to their social and emotional ability to adapt and respond to challenges.

It’s typically used in the realm of mental health and social and emotional wellbeing.

I’m passionate about starting a conversation around the physical aspect of wellbeing, including a person, or group of person’s physical resilience!

Health literacy doesn’t just involve the mind and emotions- it’s untimately a matter of mind + body.

So I’m here to put forward the notion of ‘Physical Resilience’ and want to promote it’s importance for us all! 

Whether we’re doing paid work or unpaid work – such as students, parents, retirees- we all have to do a certain amount of work…

Whatever your daily tasks include, you are more productive, produce better quality of work, feel more satisfaction and are less likely to feel stiff, sore or even become injured, if we have the physical capacity to do that work well- and to do it again as often as required 🙂

Yes, as an expert in helping both workers and students become more physically resilient, I’ve seen the difference it can make to their lives… I love helping people thrive, not just survive in their work!

I’ve made a quick video about ‘Physical Resilience’- what it means to me and how being more physically resilient might help you and your team/ colleagues/ family members!

You can watch it here

Being equipped and empowered with simple strategies, workers and students can 

– improve their energy levels

– boost concentration and productivity

– unwind their tight and tense muscles

– improve their posture and confidence

improve their physical and mental health!

… leading to far greater engagement and ultimate success– for both the individual and their organisation!

This is even more evident when workers and students are engaged in sedentary work.

We’ve all felt how draining, even straining it is to sit in the one spot at a desk, in front of a screen for hours on end!

As we sit still, and our metabolism slows down, we’re literally ‘sitting ducks’ for the onslaught of chronic diseases that often follow.

That’s why there’s so much talk about ‘Sitting Disease’ and its serious side effects!

That’s why I particularly love to help workers be more ‘Fit 2 Sit’ and students more ‘Fit 4 Study’… it really makes a difference to them feeling their best and achieving success at their desk!

I’ve also put together my favourite 4 Exercises you can do – at your desk, kitchen table, or anywhere – to help you feel more ‘Physically Resilient’ or ‘Fit 2 Sit’
You can access it for FREE HERE

I look forward to supporting you and your community in your journey to building greater ‘Physical Resilience’.

If you have any comments or questions about what ‘Physical Resilience’ means or what it means to you, please reach out to me via email kym@kymsiddonsphysio.com.au

And if you’ve enjoyed this article, please share with your colleagues, family and friends who would benefit from some encouragement today!

Suffering Neck tension & Sore Shoulders? The BEST NECK STRETCH EVER will help you!

Still suffering with tense, tight neck muscles from the end of financial year push or end of semester exams? You’re not alone! Students and workers alike are feeling the pinch- literally- in their neck, upper back and shoulders 😖 If you’re keen for relief and want the most effective stretch I know of to stretch […]

Strategy #2 for setting yourself up for Success at your desk

Keen to feel less Pain, Strain and Drain- so can feel at your Best and Be more Productive- at your desk?😁 Here’s strategy #2 to help you with just that! ✅ It’s a quick tip to kickstart your week the right way!   Click on the picture above or Click here to get the low down […]

Strategy #1 for Setting yourself up for Success at your desk

My 31 strategy to set yourself up for success at your desk! 😀 Discover How to Feel your Best and be far more productive with this Top Tip, plus a bonus awesome desk exercise! ✅ End of Semester and the End of Financial Year is fast approaching and you might well be feeling the strain […]

Stiff and Sore no more! Grab this Easter Holiday Travel Tip that keeps your back and hips happy while you Sit

Travelling this Easter Break? Does you back groan at you just with the thought of sitting for hour in the car, train or plane? Do you feel hunched over with stiffness or soreness in your low back and hips from being stuck sitting for ages… then take a bit of unwinding while you straighten up […]

Relieve Neck, Back and Shoulder tension with this Quick Tip

Take tension off your Neck, Back and Shoulders with this quick tip

I often prescribe my clients the ‘Smiling Collar-bones’ exercise that gives them a quick and easy way to improve their posture and take tension off their neck, shoulders and upper back.

It’s also one of my favourite ways of explaining healthy posture habits for your head, neck and shoulders and clients can’t believe how easy it is to remember… so they do it more often!

The other thing is, your don’t have to even leave your chair to do it! Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you can ‘Smile’ your collarbones and feel the difference in your body!

That’s a win-win all round!

This week saw us celebrating April Fool’s Day… and National ‘Smile Day’ in Australia. So I thought I’d bring a smile to your dial and share this awesome exercise with you…

 

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New evidence that Exercise Boosts our Brainpower!

New research has unlocked another piece in the puzzle of how exercise improves our brain function. A discovery has identified what triggers the brain to boost brain function through exercise. Many of us will be familiar with the ‘post-exercise high’ that is often what motivates us to get our joggers on in the first place. […]

Try this Exercise to boost your Brainpower while you work!

This week is Brain awareness week, so in honour of raising awareness about brain research and developing healthy habits for your brain, I’ve got a great Brain- Boosting Exercise for you! Exercise helps you wake up the centre of your brain that helps you stay alert, increases the flow of blood and therefore oxygen to […]