Spare a thought this September for the 250,000 or so UK primary school teachers returning to their classrooms. Tiny chairs, desks and extra-low sinks are perfect for little people, but are a real challenge for the teachers and teacher’s assistants.
As well as perching on tiny chairs and bending over low tables, there are also things to pick up from the floor, equipment to move, and hours of preparing lessons and admin on the computers.
A study reported in the Times Educational Supplement in 2011 revealed that over two thirds of primary teachers had taken time off with job-related joint or back pain. It was estimated that over a career, teachers would spend an average 20,000 hours sitting on furniture designed for children – what office worker would put up with that?!
Many professionals, including surgeons and dentists, suffer work-related pain which they may regard as par for the course, taking painkillers to keep going as long as possible. However, impaired mobility, joint surgery or spinal problems in middle age is a poor reward for such stoicism. Sometimes the demands of a job cannot be easily changed – but postural know-how can be transformational.
As a postural health educator with over 24 years experience as a school teacher and bodyworker, I run INSET sessions about how to sit, stand, bend, lift and lean in the ways that the body was designed to work best – an ABC of postural wellness if you like. Damaging sitting and bending can be replaced with habits that are positively healthy for your structure.
This is an In-Service Training that every body will be thankful for!