Healthy Kids Perform Better in School

Healthy Kids Perform Better in School

Dr Bret WilsonHealthy kids perform better in school. Here are some tips for making the return to school less stressful, healthier and happier.

Students have a class schedule that they need to adhere to get to school on time and get their school work done. For health the schedule of sleep, meal, activity and rest are important to stay healthy.

School aged kids 6-13 years old need 10 hours of sleep per the National Sleep Foundation. Schedule the time for bed to allow for proper sleep before the scheduled time to get up and get to school. Develop a pre–bed routine that helps with relaxation, avoids stimulation of TV, computers, sugar and caffeine. Maintain the same routine on the weekends to avoid a tough transition Monday morning.

Proper and adequate nutrition throughout the day helps us perform at our best. Parents and students must understand the importance of food choices and how it affects school work, energy levels, healthy development and future health. Choosing foods with high nutrient density will satisfy more, digest slower, and maintain blood sugar levels.

Physical activity is an important part of the schedule to keep students fit and healthy. Sitting for long periods of time at

Kids Playing

Photo by Jodie Wilson

school needs to be balanced with exercise and movement activities to get the blood pumping, work muscles and joints, develop coordination and balance. According to the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen (e.g., TV, video games, computer). Studies have shown attention and grades improve when there is a balanced mix of sitting and physical activity. It is important to consider making a time for physical activity after school before sitting down to homework, playing video games or watching television.

Computer postures and the use of tablets and other hand held devices can put considerable strain on the neck and back. It is estimated that for every inch the head tilts forward of the center of the shoulders doubles the weight bearing on the neck muscles.  This can lead to poor posture, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and other health issues. Set up desks and computer work stations that promote strong postures and teach children to develop proper posture habits. Limit the use of hand held devices. Promote frequent breaks of movement and physical activity.

Backpack bulgeBackpacks for books, and other school materials are standard issue for most schools. A backpack  that is too heavy or worn improperly can create unnecessary stress and strain on the back neck and shoulders. Limit weight to less that 10-15% of a child’s body weight. The use of both straps with the proper adjustments to fit the child properly helps reduce stress and strain.

It is hard for any of us to do our best if we are in pain. A recent study found that 83% of school age children experienced a pain episode in the previous 90 days, the majority of the pain reported was musculoskeletal. Headaches  that are chronic and daily present a significant problem for many teenagers according to the American Headache Society. Don’t let pain distract your child from his school work. Consider chiropractic care as an alternative to over the counter and prescribed medication that have often not been adequately tested on children. Your doctor of chiropractic can help with posture evaluations, advice on exercise and nutrition. Children that are suffering from neck pain, back pain headaches and other health issues can benefit from chiropractic care. A chiropractor can evaluate your child’s condition and determine the appropriate treatment.

Return to school can be an exciting time for students and parents. The best approach is to consider ways to reduce stress and improve health and fitness throughout the school year. Proper sleep, and nutrition, proper posture, the right mix of rest and activity can set the stage for better grades and healthy physical and mental development of the student.

1. Food choices
2. Physical Fitness
3. Text Neck
4. Backpack Safety
5. Children Muscle Tension Headaches
6. Back to School Exam

Related Posts by Dr Wilson that may be of interest:
Posture Benefits Dr. Bret Wilson
Tech Neck Dr. Bret Wilson
Posture Tips Dr. Bret Wilson
Dr. Bret Wilson wants you to move, play and live free from neck and back pain.  For more information about chiropractic, posture, exercise, and how to make better choices about your health visit our website www.bellwestchiro.com.  Find a chiropractor in your area to help you with safe and effective health care.  http://www.acatoday.org/Find-a-Doctor

This video was made from a school in the UK. Great tips.


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