By Jacey Gibb, Assistant Editor
Personal health is something that students don’t often consider when it comes to managing their lives. When juggling work, school, friends, and falling in love, it’s easy to put your physical well-being on the back burner and leave it sitting there until it sets off the smoke alarm—that is, until something bad happens.
Being young isn’t the same as being invincible; we’re all just big bags of skin and bones (and sometimes beefy rippling muscles), and no matter what those 5 Hour Energies might lead you to believe, you do have limitations.
One of the most common ailments to the post-secondary crowd: back problems. As silly as it sounds, hurting your back at some point during your daily mundane routine isn’t just something that happens to senior citizens anymore. The most obvious culprit for causing posterior problems rhymes with hacksack. Give up? It’s your backpack.
In your attempt to be king of the metros or queen of the purse ladies, you may have opted to carry all of your textbooks and binders in a one-strap bag. Fashion aside, this is a big no-no. Especially if you’re carrying a lot of weight, one-strap bags can strain whichever unfortunate shoulder it sits on. Also, whether you’re aware of it or not, whichever shoulder the strap is slung over will automatically raise itself to prevent the bag from slipping. This can cause uneven shifts in your balance.
Hopefully this information doesn’t frighten you into purchasing one of those rolling suitcase backpacks though. No matter how old my driver’s license may say I am, I will never outgrow the feeling of wanting to kick those bags whenever someone’s pulling one along behind them. Unless you’re late for your connecting flight at YVR, you don’t need a rolling suitcase—last time I checked, Douglas College wasn’t an airport terminal.
But if one-strap backpacks can give you back problems and rolling backpacks make you look like a ponce, what can you use to store your scholarly equipment? Introducing the old-fashioned, classic two-strap backpack! The traditional model ensures that there’s an even weight distribution between both of your shoulders, and it also acts as the perfect vessel in which to transport beer while party hopping. Everyone’s a winner!
Another instigator of back problems for students that loves to show up around exam time is pinched nerves. When you spend eight hours studying, slouched over your oh-so-fancy textbook, your brain isn’t the only thing getting stressed—slouching can lead to some serious back pain later on.
You don’t have to start penning your tombstone inscription just because you’ve got a pinched nerve, but they can hurt a heck of a lot and severely limit your mobility, meaning less time on the weekend for dancing. A trick my chiropractor taught me was to put several other books underneath the book you’re reading. Because the book is now elevated, you’re left to sit in a posture more similar to a human and less like a Quasimodo impersonator. The same trick can be used for when you’re on your laptop.
You’ve already got enough on your plate without having to worry about waking up one morning and finding that you can barely move, so keep your back sexy, like our friend J.T. always said.