How to Mitigate the Effects of Backpacks and Keyboards

As summer is coming to an end, and school is back in session, here are a few tips to help you transition back into the school year and stay on top of your game.

Whether you have children who are just starting school or you are attending college, most of us carry a backpack to transport books and supplies to and from classes. Carrying your backpack can be difficult if you aren’t aware of proper mechanics. First, you should be carrying your backpack with both straps instead of one. This distributes weight evenly on both shoulders to avoid compensation. Your backpack should weight 10-20% of your body weight. Adjusting the straps of your backpack can also be tricky, the bottom of your backpack should sit at your waist.

Another common discussion is proper mechanics for sitting in a chair or at a computer desk. When sitting in a chair, your feet should be flat on the floor with your hips and knees at 90 degrees. Your chair should have good lumbar support, arm rests with elbows at 90 degrees, and shoulders should remain relaxed. When seated, the top of your computer monitor should be 2-3 inches below eye level to maintain appropriate head positioning. Other tips to get your through your busy day include: taking a short 5-10 min break every hour, performing stretches, and taking a short walk over your lunch break.

Physical therapy can help you stretch and strengthen where our daily lives have left us tight and knotted. And regular massage therapy can help you keep those gains. TherapyWorks is here to help you be at your best!

--Ashely Catt, PTA and Lauren Cerier, DPT

Tagged: ergonomics, backpacks, physical therapy, back pain, back to school


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