Back To School Posture Tips

Ace Physio’s Back To School Posture Tips

Time to get a move on!  School’s almost back in session – you’ve got your first-day-of-school outfit; your list of school supplies; a new lunch bag, a new backpack and maybe even a new computer.  Let’s add a few simple Back to School Posture Tips from Ace Physio.


There’s a new condition creeping into our everyday life.  It’s called the Postural Creep brought on by hours spent staring into computer screens; playing video games; watching television; sitting at desks.  Current studies show that our sedentary lifestyles are causing permanent changes to our posture.

Our bodies are designed for movement.  Some parts of our body are meant to guide movement.  Other parts are meant to bear the weight.  Poor posture throws the body out of balance.  It forces some muscles to become over-active and tight; and other muscles to become loose and inactive.  And it all begins to go out of shape by the age of 7.

A European cross-sectional study of 3600 school-going children (ages 7, 11 and 15) determined that 38.3% of children had poor posture.  The study went on to indicate that poor posture dramatically increased between age 7 (33%) and age 11 (40.8%).

The study also noted that 14% of the children in the sample group had a body mass index over 90% and that, on average, the children were active 4 hours a day and watched television or played video games for 14 hours a day.  In the 20% who reported playing no sports at all, there was a higher probability of poor posture.

Poor posture is a learned behavior.  It puts pressure on the spine and impacts the muscles supporting the spine.

  • 15 minutes of slouching may cause pain and burning sensation in the middle back
  • hanging one’s head forces the upper cervical spine to bear a greater weight and may lead to headaches and balance disorders
  • rounding the upper back may lead to headaches, chest discomfort and pins and needles in the hands.

Permanent poor posture stretches the ligaments out of shape and changes the fabric of the tissues.  Once changed it becomes more difficult to repair.


Good posture is natural.  No toddler learning to walk slouches.  As we grow up, however, what we do – and don’t do – affects how our bodies move.  So let’s get back to what comes naturally!

Standing posture

  • Hold head up, chin in and look straight ahead
  • Put shoulders back
  • Tuck tummy in
  • Keep knees straight
  • Take deep breath and relax shoulders
  • Keep chest forward

Sitting posture

  • Put your back right against back rest of chair
  • Knees should be at a right angle
  • Feet should be flat on the floor
  • Do not cross your legs

Computer posture

  • Don’t lean forward; sit back and stretch your arms to keyboard
  • Bring your chair close to keyboard so your arms can rest on the arms of the chair
  • Keep shoulders relaxed
  • Be aware of your shoulders so they do not bunch up when you get excited
  • Rest and move every 30 minutes so body can relax
  • Try bending back even to stretch and relax

Our Toronto Physiotherapy Clinic can help to keep your Child’s spine healthy.

For more tips visit us at or book an appointment by calling 416-900-6653


  • Sharon Gabison

    Registered Physiotherapist BSc, BScPT, MSc, PhD: A graduate of the University of Toronto in Human Biology, Sharon completed her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto. She went on to pursue further graduate work, completing her Master of Science from the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and a PhD from the Institute of Medical Science both from the University of Toronto. Her interest in Physiotherapy originated while pursuing her first undergraduate degree while struggling with postural challenges and seeking physiotherapy treatment. Her interest in medicine, working with people, and developing and adhering to therapeutic plans inspired her to pursue a career in Physiotherapy. Her interest in research, orthopaedics, neurology, therapeutic agents and pressure injuries (bed sores) lead her to pursue graduate work. Sharon emphasizes a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Her experience of raising a son with a disability has continued to inform her career that has spanned over 25 years. She is able to appreciate the rehabilitation process not only from the professional perspective, but from the client perspective. Her extensive knowledge of biomechanics, orthopaedics, exercise prescription, electrophysical agents with a strong background in research enables her to provide evidence based treatment when designing and implementing rehabilitation plans. With a special interest in patient and family engagement through her volunteer work, Sharon is able to ensure that treatment that is provided takes into consideration the unique challenges that individuals may experience when adhering to treatment recommendations in their busy lives.

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