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Standing up to Too Much Standing in the Classroom

By Donna Stark

You may have heard over the past couple of years that sitting is the new smoking, but have you heard the latest about standing? Experts are now saying that standing is the new sitting, which means if sitting was the new smoking, and standing is now the new sitting, I guess we can just skip the middle-man and say that standing is actually the new smoking. Make sense? Well, whether it does or not, the bottom line is this: standing for long periods of time is not good for the health of your body, and if anybody should know that, it's educators.

Time for School

The beginning of school has been in the news for several weeks by now, but the focus has mainly been on our children. From back-to-school shopping to class schedules, our priorities have been centered on getting the kids settled for school. But if you are an educator, you may want to put yourself on top of that priority list so that you can ensure a healthy year ahead. And the most important thing to consider is the amount of time you spend standing. Take a look at some of the health issues that can plague you simply because you stand at your job.

  • Low back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Aching joints in the hips and knees
  • Ankle and foot pain
  • Headaches
  • Poor sleep and stress

Creating a Healthy Environment

Whether you are a preschool teacher or a college professor, the pain from your job can be significant, but take heart! There are ways you can reduce and eliminate those challenges. Here are some suggestions on how to do so.

  • Use a cushion when sitting on the floor with students
  • Use a high stool in place of standing for hours
  • Invest in an adjustable desk that can be used for sitting and standing
  • Use proper form when lifting and carrying heavy items
  • Use a portable wheelbarrow when transferring heavy loads
  • Stretch and move frequently
  • Wear comfortable, supportive shoes
  • Lower yourself to your students instead of bending over them
  • Focus on correct posture throughout the day

Taking Care of Yourself

If you are an educator, there is no doubt that you spend the majority of your day taking care of the students in your class, no matter how much pain you are in, but it's about time that you also start taking better care of yourself! The number of lives you impact are too many to count, but there is one more life to be added to that list ... yours! So start making some changes to your classroom today and set yourself up for the healthiest of school years!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brookfield, Wis.

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