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 Causing Back Pain To Teachers And School Staff

Teachers often stand “lecture-style” for extended hours. This places an extra burden on the low back and legs, which may lead to poor posture. In addition hard unforgiving surfaces can take their toll after prolonged standing. This caused by;

  • 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, on how to write lesson plans, classroom management and paperwork, may prevent getting a good night’s sleep, resulting in the search for remedies for insomnia

How Teachers Can Improve Their Health

By use of:

  • Specially designed chair or floor cushion for low seating.
  • High stool instead of standing for hours.
  • 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

Teaching ergonomics in schools;
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 favors both the teacher and students
2. The school should consider having an exercise room or trainer, so as 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 or teachers should be advised to use the area that requires least effort.


Written By:
Jemimah Kamau,
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre

School Staff And Many Teachers Experience Back Pain When Standing

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