Desk and Backpack Posture for Effective Learning

This year we have decided to open up our blog and explore a wide variety of topics that we think The Organic Place community members might be interested in. Whilst our central focus is organic food, we understand that living a happy and healthy life goes beyond just what you eat. And that’s why this week, we invited Dr Cassie Atkinson-Quinton, Chiropractor and Director of Body and Brain Centre to talk to us about a topic which is really important for anyone who has a child going to school this year; desk and backpack posture.

Apart from being an experienced Chiropractor, Cassie is also a Pana chocoholic, yogi and wannabe runner (I’m pretty sure we can all relate to at least on of those!) Take it away Cassie…

It is easy to fall in the trap of buying a backpack which your child will be able to use for years to come. Whilst young students with oversized uniforms and backpacks look cute in photographs, x-rays of their spines show a different story…..

Children have delicate, growing bodies which can be easily overloaded with poorly fitted backpacks and work spaces. This can cause complaints and health concerns now and also into the future.

You may notice your child is:


    Complaining of aches, pains or funny sensations (such as pins and needles)

    Hunching over with rounded shoulders and no natural curve in their lower back

    Constantly fidgeting and moving position

 Future health concerns associated with poor posture

Childhood spinal health problems often go unnoticed. What starts as poor posture, back pain and “growing pains” can develop into an accepted part of everyday life. This can lead to serious musculoskeletal concerns immediately or later in life such as reduced mobility, early degeneration of the bones and joints and increased vulnerability to injuries.

Studies have shown that back pain in children and adolescents is a strong indicator of adult back pain, particularly persistent back pain in adults. The risk increases with the longer duration of back pain in growing spines.

 I’m concerned this is my child, what can I do about it?

Buying a new bag each time your child has a growth spurt would really add up. Instead, get your child’s backpack fitted by their local Chiropractor at the start of each school year and after any growth spurts. Even a small change can help more evenly distribute the weight across your child’s spine and pelvis. You can also look on your local Buy Swap and Sell Facebook page or ask your school about second hand options.

Ensure that your child’s desk is set up to support their body and reassess if they complain of pain, poor posture or after a growth spurt. Ensure that their feet are supported either on the ground or with a foot stool and that their lower back’s natural spinal curves are supported with an ergonomic chair or a portable insert.

Break up your child’s study sessions with active tasks like star jumps. Depending on your child’s age, this should be every 20 – 50 minutes. You can use a coloured in clock to help your child regulate this themselves.

Free backpack and postural assessments in Moonee Ponds

Book a free assessment to ensure that your child’s backpack is appropriately fitted to their body shape. According to the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA), 90% of school children have bad posture when carrying their bags and could experience unwanted spinal stress and damage as a result. While 75% are not wearing their school backpacks properly which may be further exacerbating the problem.

Book your free backpack and postural assessment at the Body and Brain Centre.

You can also read our recent blog post about planning healthy school lunches on the Body and Brain Centre Website 

What other topics would you like to see us cover this year on the blog?






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