Protecting Your Child’s Back During Virtual School Learning

Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: August 31, 2020

Virtual Learning

There is a lot of uncertainty about the upcoming school year, and many parents are carefully weighing their options for how their children will attend school this fall. For others, that choice has been made for them already as districts are moving their curriculum online. We want all students to take care for their spine this school year, but it can be a little harder to protect your back if you’re transitioning to an online learning environment. In today’s blog, we share some tips for how students can protect their back from injury if they are going to be attending school virtually this year.

Back Health When Taking Classes Online

Here are some tips that parents and students can benefit from if the child or teen will be doing most of their learning online this year.

  • Supportive Chair – Make sure your child attends virtual classes from a supportive chair. Don’t let them sink into the couch or lay in their bed to learn. Aside from other distractions these areas offer, they don’t tend to provide much assistance in terms of spinal support. If their back is in an uncomfortable position for most of the day, their lumbar or cervical spine can easily become overstressed. Have them sit in a comfortable office chair or another supportive option.
  • Movement – Make sure that your child takes time to get up and stretch between lessons or during breaks. This time normally spent moving through the hallways helps engage a range of muscle groups and take stress off of areas that handle more weight when you’re in a seated position. Get up and move for five minutes every 45-60 minutes to help take idle pressure off your spine.
  • Exercise – One of the tougher lessons to convey through online learning is the importance of gym and recess for regular exercise. Make sure you’re staying active and participating in the activities if you have an adjusted gym class on your schedule this year, but also set aside time outside of school hours to exercise. This exercise will be key for strengthening and stabilizing your spine as you grow.
  • Hydrate – Your spine operates best when it is hydrated, so always make it a point to have a water bottle or a full glass of water nearby when you’re in virtual lessons or doing your homework. It may not seem like you’re losing a lot of fluids at home, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your fluid intake. Strive for water over sugary options like soda or juice that can contribute to inflammation in your spine.
  • Posture – Even if you’re in a supportive chair, if your posture isn’t any good, there’s a chance you’ll end up hurting your spine. Get in the habit of performing regular self checks to look for slouching or hunching forward. Strive to keep your head positioned directly above your shoulders and your computer screen at or near eye level.

If you keep these tips in mind and bring up any spinal concerns you have to your general practitioner or spine specialist, we’re confident that your spine will have a high likelihood of staying healthy this school year. We don’t know what the school year will bring, but we do know that we are here to help you with all your spine and neck needs. For more information, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office today.

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