Studies show that one-quarter of UK secondary school pupils now suffer from regular or daily back pain, and this has been linked to prolonged sitting and the carrying of school bags.
In the last 23 years, the amount of time that children aged 5 to 16 spend in front of a screen has more than doubled. In 1995, 3 hours a day were spent on screen-time, and the average now – perhaps unsurprisingly, given our technology-led lifestyles – is 6 and a half hours a day.
This, combined with the 70% of the school day which is spent seated, and a drop in activity as fewer children walk to school (in the last 40 years, the number of primary age children who walk to school has dropped from 64% to 42%) is having a detrimental effect on the back health of young people.
With studies showing that children with back pain are more likely to suffer as an adult, it’s increasingly important to educate our children in the importance of good back health to help reverse the trend of back pain occurring in younger generations.
Employers are more aware than ever of the benefits of a work environment which encourages good physical health in their workforce, but sadly schools are yet to jump on board.
As parents, we can support our children to reduce their pain and prevent further problems in several ways