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Fit To Be Taught, Vol. 55

Backpacks =
Backaches for
Some Kids


Backpacks are a weighty problem for some students, according to a report by doctors at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Students often over-pack their backpacks and often carry their backpacks slung over one shoulder. Those habits can result in muscle spasms, shoulder or lower back pain, tingling hands, or posture problems, university doctors say.

Kids should stay away from cheap, lightweight backpacks that have unpadded nylon straps, says Dr. Jane Benson. The university's doctors have a few other recommendations:

  • Use a knapsack with well-padded straps and use both straps when carrying the knapsack.
  • Buy a knapsack with several compartments to better distribute the weight being lugged around.
  • Pack heavier items near the top of the pack. That way, the legs are carrying most of the weight. Heavy items packed at the bottom of the pack put more stress on the back.
  • Never carry a backpack that weighs more than 20 percent of your body weight.

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
Group Aims to Limit Pesticide Use at Schools The Oregon Toxics Alliance is urging the state legislature to regulate pesticide use at schools.

School Soda Bans Dont Lower Consumption The reduction or elimination of sugar-sweetened beverages from school menus has little effect on total soda consumption by teens, a U.S. researcher said.

Running for Fun and Fitness

It's "Funner" to be a Runner is a fitness education/classroom program designed to promote cardiovascular fitness and respiratory efficiency, while at the same time enhancing mental, emotional, and social health for K-5 students at Meridian Elementary School in El Cajon, California.

Students run for 45-50 minutes five days a week and some enter weekend fun runs. They do push-ups and pull-ups daily. Students gain a sense of confidence from meeting goals and accomplishing athletic activities that they could not do before, and the self-confidence often carries over into their schoolwork. Many of the youngsters keep in touch with school staff members after they leave the fifth grade, and report that they are still running, biking, swimming, or engaging in other types of exercise.

The program also stresses good nutrition. Healthful snacks are provided on a daily basis at school. Parents always are sending in nutritious snacks for the entire class and many tell school staff members that their children won't eat white bread, cakes, or other sugary snacks at home.

Read more about this program at: Its Funner to Be a Runner .

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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