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3 Back to School Tips

3 Back to School Tips

Written by Brittany Roebuck - Osteopath | 30th January 2022

You know the year is passing by quickly when it is already time for the kids to return to school. From arranging their new uniforms to buying new lunchboxes, getting the kids ready to go back can be a stressful time! Follow this blog for some tips on helping kids start the school year in a healthy way.

1. Backpack

School backpacks can look and feel so big, especially in comparison to little bodies. It is important to follow these recommendations when it comes to fitting and carrying a backpack:

  • Carry the backpack using both shoulder straps (and a waist strap if there is one)
  • Keep the weight of the backpack to less than 10% of the child’s body weight
  • Tighten the straps to make the bag fit close to the body. It should rest in the middle of the back and not sit on the buttocks
  • Pack the heavier items closest to the spine and ensure the zips are done up all the way
  • Lift the backpack properly and ensure your child is bending their knees when picking up the bag
School backpack

2. Physical Activity

Starting school and a new routine may mean that children are feeling more tired, but it is important that they stay physically active. Being active every day has many benefits for young people and children, including social, emotional, health and intellectual. Some of these include:

  • Better self-esteem and confidence
  • Lower anxiety and stress
  • Better concentration
  • Healthy growth and development
  • Improved coordination
  • Reduced antisocial behaviour

The Australian Government Department of Health recommends that young people do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. This can be broken into several shorter sessions if preferred. Examples of this type of exercise include:

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Netball
  • Bike riding
  • Swimming
  • Scooter riding
  • Dancing

It is recommended that young people take part in muscle and bone strengthening activities as part of their 60 minutes of activity 3 days per week. These activities can include:

  • Running
  • Climbing
  • Swimming on monkey bars
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Yoga

Children should also participate in several hours of light physical activity every day. Light physical activity includes things like:

  • Walking to school
  • Walking the dog
  • Going to the park with friends
  • Helping around the house

3. Sleep

It’s a new year so why not set up some good sleeping habits to start out the school year. Getting enough high-quality sleep is important for healthy growth. It is recommended that children aged 5 to 13 years have 9 to 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and 14 to 17-year-olds have 8 to 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. To develop a good sleep routine, try the following:

  • Have a consistent bedtime and waking time
  • Avoid screens for 1 hour before sleep
  • Keep screens out of the bedroom

Brittany Roebuck is an Osteopath that works at Canterbury Health Hub. She is available on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Click here to learn more about Brittany. Book online or call (03) 9836 3688 for an appointment with Brittany.

Tags: school, tips