Ergonomics & backpack tips for back to school

Back to school is always a busy time of the year with an array of emotions. There are precautions you can take to avoid injuries with these ergonomics and backpack tips.

  • Backpacks – make sure you have a backpack that fits you. If it is too large, it is difficult to maintain good posture when carrying your bag. Also, do not overload your backpack (it has been recommended to only carry 10 – 20% of your weight).
  • Computer/desk ergonomics – set up your computer space to allow you to sit in a good posture. Tips for this include:
    1. feet flat on floor
    2. knees level or slightly lower than hips
    3. low and mid-back support
    4. wrist in straight position
    5. elbows at side and at 90-degree angles
    6. monitor screen at eye level
  • Use pencil grips or larger girth pens – to use less muscle force with writing. This can allow you to write longer with less discomfort or fatigue.
  • Sitting with corrected posture during class –sitting up straight with shoulder blades gently squeezed together, not letting your head sit forward, and avoiding resting on your elbows to prevent extra stress on the nerves in your arms.
  • Take breaks – if you are studying or writing papers and sitting for extended time periods, make sure to get up from your seat and take breaks frequently.

Have a great school year!

Learn more about the Milliken Hand Rehabilitation Center…

Solutions for common childhood school-related problems

With back to school mode in full swing, how can you help your children stay on top of all they’ve got to do, without you losing your mind? Check out the quick tips below to solve some common childhood school-related problems.

  • Problem: Whining about too much homework.

Solution: Make time visual. Our kids benefit from planners just as much as we do. Specifically, highlight the amount of free time children have versus the amount of homework time they have. Your children will be amazed. An analog clock (drawn on with dry-erase markers) can also help a child envision how long their homework task may take.

  • Problem: Messy backpack

Solution: Ditch the backpack altogether buy your child an old-school Trapper Keeper. Make sure there is ample space for a pencil pouch and folders. Color code everything and take the time to sit with your child and organize the binder every day.

  • Problem: Losing homework assignments and supplies

Solution: Create a unique workspace where you live just for homework. Be sure to stock it with plenty of pencils, a pencil sharpener, erasers, and any other essentials for your child’s homework needs.

  • Problem: Too many extra-curricular activities.

Solution: Set aside one-on-one time for you and your child at least once per week. Don’t schedule anything structured. Talk about the day, play an impromptu game, or read a favorite book together.

Especially for children who struggle with school, even small tasks can seem overwhelming. Make sure you have resources for yourself, your child, and your child’s teacher throughout the school year to help support you. Check out for practical tips for organization, learning, and more.

Learn more about our Pediatric OT Clinical Services…