BACK HACKS

Easy Ways to Improve Spinal Health

BACK HACKS

Anna Adams, Staff Writer

At any school, students are seen hunching over their desks and toting heavy backpacks. Doing so can strain the spine, worsening medical conditions like kyphosis- a hunchback posture- and scoliosis. However, making a few tweaks to your schedule can help lessen your risk of further developing these conditions.

Backpacks are a staple for school gear. Keep in mind that asymmetrical backpack straps contribute to the worsening of scoliosis. For starters, make sure the straps are at even height to ensure a straight spine. In addition, enduring heavy loads on a daily basis could lead to kyphosis. Switching to a backpack that rolls (designed similarly to a suitcase) could drastically reduce strain on the spine. An alternative option would be adjusting the straps on a backpack to fit snugly around the shoulders, which also keeps the spine straight. Textbooks and lunchboxes, to name a few, can add unnecessary weight to a backpack; carry heavy or bulky items in your arms when possible to evenly distribute the load.

Hunching over an assignment or textbook is a common habit. Avoid doing this when possible, because it contributes to kyphosis. While writing on an assignment does not have many options astray from the standard slouch, reading can be done in alternate positions. Try holding a book or paper so that the text is visible at eye level; this not only reduces strain on the spine but eases the neck, as well.

Jon Arbuckle holds his book at eye level. “Garfield by Jim Davis for July 01, 1997 | GoComics.Com.” GoComics, 1 July 1997, www.gocomics.com/garfield/1997/07/01.

Sleep is an essential way to recharge after a long day. When sleeping, the best option is to lay flat on the back with a pillow under the knees and a pillow under the neck to keep the spine aligned in a straight line. In contrast, try to avoid sleeping on the stomach; this curves the spine and hurts the neck.

Although it may seem difficult to maintain a straight spine at school, there are actually quite a few changes that can be made in favor of your back. Comment below if these tips helped or if you wish to share your own tricks.