Educators have the opportunity to make a huge impact on their students – however, they face many challenges, which may result in low back, neck and shoulder pain; tired feet, aching legs, headaches, insomnia and stress. Often, the number one concern for teachers is back pain when standing.
Whether you are a nursery school teacher or a college professor, job-related challenges can be reduced or avoided, especially if you know how to improve posture.
Challenges include:

Teachers often stand “lecture-style” for extended hours, placing an extra burden on the low back and legs, which may lead to poor posture. Additionally, hard unforgiving surfaces can take their toll after prolonged standing.
Bending or stooping over children at their desks and in a class of 50 students
Sitting down for long periods when grading assignments and marking exams
Lifting or carrying small children, heavy equipment or paperwork.
Teachers in primary and early-year classrooms can spend an average of 20,000 hours standing on furniture designed for children during their 30-year career. In addition, teachers may be utilizing extra-low sinks and child-height computers and whiteboards – not to mention.
Stress, especially if you are a first year teacher learning the curriculum, how to write lesson plans, classroom management and paperwork. Stress may prevent getting a good night’s sleep, resulting in the search for remedies for insomnia.

Teachers can improve their health by implementing the following;

Use a specially designed chair or floor cushion for low seating.
Use a high stool instead of standing for hours.
Use a height adjustable table.
Transport heavy paperwork or equipment on a wheeled trolley.
Stretch and move frequently – get up and walk around every 20 minutes or so.
Avoid excessive reaching and twisting by arranging items on your desk.
Wear comfortable, supportive shoes – possibly with orthotics, if necessitated.
Maintain ergonomically correct workstations.
Learn how to improve posture and lift, bend and carry correctly. Chiropractors and Physical Therapists provide home and work instructions for patients.

Role of physiotherapist
Ergonomics in school
1. To guide teachers on how to stand, which appropriate foot wear to put on.
2. The height of the board should be made in regards to the teachers height, so that it is not too high or low
3. Teachers should avoid sudden rotation of the trunk (spine) as it can cause disk problem and back pain

Recommendation to the school management
1. Students or pupils’ desk should be made in such a way that favours both the teacher and students
2. The school should consider having an exercise room or trainer to help the teachers in exercising
3. The height of the board should be made in regards to the teachers height, so that it is not too high or low

References:
https://www.aimsclinic.com/

Written By:
Jemimah Kamau,
Physiotherapist,
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre

School Staff And Many Teachers Experience Back Pain When Standing

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