One area that continues to worry me about the next generation is how we are blindly leading them down an even more destructive path than our own regarding computers, laptops and sedentary occupations. I regularly work with adults who have absolutely no awareness of their bodies when using technology. Is it any wonder that our children are similarly oblivious? No.
Academia vs Health
With a dogged focus on academia and achievement, our education systems from primary to tertiary neglect the physical instrument itself in the pursuit of excellence. More and more wonderful ways of communicating and teaching data evolve every year as we understand the brain’s workings, but little if any thought is given to the condition of the physical apparatus that will one day apply this information to the real world.
I speak of primary school students who are now being handed iPads like pieces of paper in the classroom and all parents and educators seem to do is crow over modern wonders of education. Alas, my eyes see much more than brain activity and a stroll through any classroom raises my hackles as I see child after child fixated on screens with little heads held down placing enormous load on the neck and shoulders.
As this image shows…the lower back/sacrum area of these little bodies is carrying the load of the entire upper body. Hip flexors and psoas muscles to name just two are tightening due to a lack of upright carriage and core stability is being eroded as the postural system has collapsed under the weight of eyes focusing on screens. This is worse than the laptop debacle which we have already learnt hard lessons from in the past.
How many hours a day should a child be expected to look down at flat screens? Forget about how much time they should be allowed. And who wears the liability in 20 years time when the employee is unable to sit upright for a day’s work and erodes the absenteeism budget for pain, treatment and time off? Corporations carry the loss of productivity but more importantly the taxpayer in our lucky country foots the health bill.
iPads Snowball Chronic Pain Issues
As we perpetuate the lack of awareness and self-management in the next generation of workers our problem snowballs, $10 billion per annum currently on chronic back pain but on the way up a steep J curve soon.
Physios, Pilates instructors and Chiropractors et al cannot be expected to continue treating the symptoms of poor coordination, imbalance and stressful use of the body that people repeat 10 hours of every day.
Am I the only one it has occurred to that a very solid business model has been built on our western penchant to nanny adults due to a lack of self control and awareness? Keep them in the dark on how their body actually works so that they have to keep paying for treatment as they ruin their health…what a great model.
Driving Blindly While Intoxicated
Whether it is nutrition or hydration or elimination or basic coordination I’m continually stunned at the massive holes in our education system that present themselves every week here at the retreat with well established pathologies from a lack of knowledge of the basics. Continuing to drive without water in the radiator(yep here we go again with a car metaphor) or allowing the oil to run dry or putting dirty fuel in the tank only happens once in our driving careers because of the huge cost for repair.
Unfortunately our human machinery can be abused for much longer than a man-made machine(which just stops). The cost of repair of our own machinery however is shared amongst everyone who pays taxes. You can smoke 2 packs a day, live on packaged junk foods and drink carbonated sugar but still command the same respect in the health system as those who proactively seek healthy choices and visit the health system once a year.
Will our society continue to help those who don’t help themselves?
If they don’t receive basic education…then I guess we’re obligated to aren’t we.