Campaign launched to stop school days being such a painOctober 12, 2012 - 7:30am
By Bernie Ní Fhlatharta
Schoolchildren will be destined for a lifetime of back pain and bad posture unless the backward sloping chairs currently being used in classrooms are not replaced, according to a Galway expert on posture.
A petition to get the Department of Education to change their standard furniture policy has been started by Richard Brennan, a leading teacher in the Alexander Technique with more than 20 years experience in improving back posture.
Mr Brennan, who is also an author of books on the Alexander Technique, has been campaigning for years for better chairs in schools to protect posture. And in fact, he is hoping that the chair will be made illegal in schools.
“20% of children already suffer from back pain and it is a major cause of back pain in adults. The problem associated with the back sloping chairs has already been identified in the UK and I wanted to highlight the same problem here, which is why I started the online petition.
“All schools use the same type of chair, the backward slope one and the only reason that is, is for easy stacking, as they can be stacked one on top of the other.
“But I am concerned about the effect this type of seating has on backs because it is unnatural to have such a shape on a chair when the children are leaning forward onto their desks.
“At the very least the chairs in classrooms should be height adjustable and I have already proposed these changes to the Department,” he said.
Mr Brennan, who is based in Moycullen, has written a full chapter on school chairs and their ill effects in his recent book, Change Your Posture, Change Your Life.
As well as a height adjustable chair, he would also recommend a chair that would slope forward.
“If this isn’t done, the number of children suffering back pain now will double and it will result in continuing back trouble for them as adults,” he added.
Read more in today’s Galway City Tribune