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Fit to Study - Preventing Study Related Injuries

As a Physiotherapist who only treats children, I have seen a progressive rise in the incidence of posture related injuries over the past 10 years. The types of injuries we see, particularly in teenagers with increased study time include back, neck, arm and wrist pain, headaches and symptoms such as pins and needles in hands. There are many factors at play in the rise of study related and postural complaints. These include:

  • Kids use technology more, from a young age. The increase in technology use such as iPads, laptop computers and phones for not only recreation, but also study, means that many children spend well in excess of the recommended 2 hours of screen time per day.
  • Children use laptops as their only computer. Laptops are not designed for long-term use. Computer monitors should be at eye-level for good ergonomics & eye health.
  • Children are not sitting at appropriate desks and chairs. Because devices are so mobile, many children study at the kitchen table or sprawled out on the bed or floor.
  • Kids just don’t stretch anymore. Even for the kids who continue to play sport through to Year 12, there is much less advice around stretching for general health and well-being.
  • Kids aren’t used to writing. Rarely are students required to write for 3 hours at a time, let alone 6 hours in a day – which may be required if 2 exams are scheduled in the same day.  

So what can we do to prevent these issues arising? Well it’s never too late to start!

  • Get your laptop up.The top of the monitor should be at eye level – pop it on a box or stack of books and get hold of a wireless keyboard.
  • Sit at a good height table where your feet can sit flat on the floor.If you don’t have a height adjustable chair use cushions and rolled towels to give support to the lower back
  • Get up and stretch before you become the shape of a chair!!! Set a timer for every 15 minutes, stand up and reset your posture.
  • If you are in Year 10 or 11 start getting used to writing for longer times when taking notes.Until the HSC goes online, you need to be able to write!
  • Take a break to do some exercise, even if only for 30 minutes.Your body and your mind will thank you!
  • STRETCH. At least every hour when studying.I have put together a set of my favourite study stretches for you to access FREE.
    Simply click on the Physiapp link in the newsletter to view it in your web browser, or download Physiapp in your app store, then enter the code: hhvwwf (all lower case).

 

* Please note if you have any existing concerns it is recommended that you see one of our Physio’s for a diagnosis and personalized exercise program.

 

And from all of us at The Physio Space good luck with your exams and enjoy the break afterwards!

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