While you are preparing for back-to-school, Dalhousie Health and Wellness wants you to keep in mind the following two topics: backpacks and physical activity levels.
Did you know that recommended backpack weight limit is 10-15% of your child’s body weight? Research shows that most children are exceeding these recommended weight limits. As children are more vulnerable to overuse injuries it is important to ensure proper backpack use. Here are some recommendations:
✏Use two straps instead of one for proper weight distribution, especially when the backpack is heavy
✏️Backpacks with padded backs and padded shoulders help reduce pressure and enhance comfort
✏Hip and chest belts transfer the weight of the backpack off the spine and shoulders
✏Backpacks with multiple compartments keep items secure when in motion and distribute the weight of the backpack
✏Reflective material on the backpack enhances visibility of the child
Virtual school has been very tough for our children and teens and although we can’t change this past year’s experience, we want to educate on the importance of staying active as it lowers stress and enhances mood. By educating the community on physical activity guidelines and encouraging activity we can empower our children to play a role in their health and form habits early in life.
Canadian Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth:
💪🏻An accumulation of at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity but more is better!!
👉🏻Moderate aerobic activities should allow you to talk, but not sing, include; brisk walking, skating, bike riding and skateboarding
👉🏻Vigorous aerobic activities will increase your heart rate even more and you will not be able to say more than a few words without catching your breath. These include; running, basketball, soccer and cross-country skiing
💪🏼Vigorous physical activities, muscles and bone strengthening activities should be incorporated at least 3 days per week.
💪🏽 Several hours of a variety of structured and unstructured physical activities
💪🏾 Limit sitting for an extended period of time and take frequent breaks
💪🏿 No more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen time
Tips to get kids active:
🚶Encourage walking to and from school
🚲 Skateboard, bike or run instead of getting a ride
🐕 Ask them to walk the dog with you
🍂 Have them rake the leaves, shovel snow or carry groceries
🎶 Have a dance party
📺 Reduce screen time
Benefits of physical activity:
✅Opportunities for socializing
✅Stronger heart, bones and healthier muscles
✅Better posture and balance
✅Lower stress and increased self-esteem
We hope this information helps prepare your littles for back-to-school and we look forward to hearing from you at Dalhousie Health and Wellness if you have any questions.