New Clinic in Maple Grove opening November 30th! Schedule an appointment today!

Hopefully your children have taken advantage of the summer by spending plenty of time outside!  We’ll be closing out the summer pretty soon, so it’s time to start thinking about back to school.  Of course that means buying school supplies and perhaps getting some new clothes.  However, did you ever consider the implications when it comes to your child sitting at school the majority of the day?

Let’s be honest, the desks at school are one size fits all and they’re terrible.  Once the boys hit a growth spurt, they hardly fit in their desks!  Not to mention any sort of lumbar support is non-existent.  The vast majority of kids sit slouched at their desks – which just lays the foundation for a lifelong habit of poor posture!  As therapists who treat neck and low back pain every day, we truly don’t want your child to end up being our patient at some point in their life!

Good posture, whether you’re sitting or standing, is accomplished by positioning your ears directly over your shoulders, and your shoulders directly over your hips.  If you start paying attention to the posture of those around you, you will quickly see that many people hang their heads forward and round their shoulders – especially in class, at computers, and while using handheld devices.  Reading textbooks often leads to poor posture as well.  A kid likely won’t notice any strain or pain when they’re using poor posture, but it’s likely to add up and create a problem later in life.

Ideally, when sitting at a computer the monitor should be positioned high enough so that your eyes line up with the top 1/3rd of the screen.  Laptops and iPads aren’t helpful for this.  Desktop computers, if available, should always be the first choice.  Otherwise, laptops can be made more ergonomic by propping them up on an inexpensive laptop stand or a bunch of books.  Adding an external keyboard and/or mouse is also recommended for better posture.

Try to hold your phones and tablets up at eye level to avoid prolonged neck flexion (i.e. letting your head hang down).  Or, when looking down try pulling your chin back as though you have a double chin, then tilt your head down.  That way the weight of your head isn’t so heavy on your neck and back.

One of the best ways to teach our kids is to model positive behavior ourselves, so now’s a great time to work on improving your posture too!  If you ever have concerns or questions about this, the occupational and physical therapists at PDR Clinics are experts on ergonomics, posture and body mechanics.  You can visit our website at: for more information.