Standing in front of a room full of eager minds providing them with information on your favorite topic can be a very rewarding job. Whether it is teaching preschoolers the colors of the rainbow or college students calculus, most teachers are on their feet for hours at a time.
Additionally, small tables and chairs, extra low sinks and toilets, and comfortable floor equipment for story reading have all been designed to fit the needs of our kids. We so often forget that these customized versions of equipment often neglect the fact that the teachers find themselves bending, reaching and modifying their posture to adjust to these tiny ergonomically designed tables and chairs. Bringing knowledge literally down to their level has its consequences. Preserving the health of our teachers is crucial.
The fact of the matter is “that two-thirds of workers in primary and early-years classrooms have received treatment for back and joint problems as a result of working in child-sized environments.”
A recent study of more than 700 teachers and pre-school staff found that heavy- lifting of children and equipment, using child-height computers and whiteboards, and standing all day were also adding to teachers’ pain. Nearly 40 per cent of those taking part in the study had taken time off work because of work-related joint or back pain.
So what can you do as a teacher to avoid these injuries?!? Here are some tips for reducing low back pain:
Emily Craigen, owner of Crystal Lake Physical Therapy, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a local Crystal Lake resident who is excited to bring health and wellness to her community.