"Homework" Every Teacher Should be Doing to Avoid BACK PAIN!
Summer is almost here and you're feeling the effects of another school year behind you. Let's face it...being a teacher takes more than mental toughness - your standing a lot, bending over desks and sitting to grade papers - this can really start to take its toll! It's not uncommon for teachers to experience low back pain. SO, we'd like to share a few tips with you to help maintain a strong, healthy back and avoid pain!
1. Engage Your Core
This is easier said than done. Let's start by "finding" your core. Lay on your back with your knees bent. Place your index finger and middle finger of both hands just inside your hip bones. Next, take a deep breath in, slowly exhale and attempt to very gently draw your belly button towards your spine. You should feel your lower abdominals gently contract under your fingers. Try to hold this for 5 seconds without letting up or holding your breath.
After you have this mastered, see if you can do it standing. If you can keep your lower abdominals engaged while standing, you should practice this throughout the day. It becomes very useful when you have to do things like bend forward over desks or lift heavy boxes, and can ultimately help you avoid an injury.
2. Practice Healthy Ergonomics
If you grade papers like most teachers do, there's a good chance you are guilty of having poor posture at some point. Here are a few of my favorite "grading papers" positions teachers have shared with me over the years.
- Cross legged on the floor, couch or bed
- Laying on their stomach on the floor, couch or bed
- Hunched over a desk
- Leaning over a crappy tray on an airplane
No wonder this group has back problems! Ideally, you want to sit (with both feet on the ground) or stand. Check out the image below for the best way to grade your next assignment.