A routine visit to the chiropractor gave Gause Elementary teacher, Rebecca Woodings, an idea on how to enrich a lesson on human body systems. She invited Dr. Michael Dornbusch of Pure Wellness in Washougal to be a guest speaker for her and Lisa Kaaihue’s third grade classrooms on November 16.
Dornbusch‘s presentation covered the importance of posture and its effect on the spine and overall health. “The goal is to teach students the negative effects of poor posture on the human frame and its global implications to our health, particularly to those who are still growing,” Dornbusch explained. “Many health issues over the past ten years are due to less movement and increased use of electronic devices. When using electronic devices, it is important to take frequent breaks to move and then reset your posture. Regular exercise is also important for your well-being.”
“Dr. Mike coming in to share his knowledge is a wonderful way to facilitate connections with the community in which we live,” Woodings said. “It adds another voice, a more expert voice, to emphasize important aspects of learning to live a healthful life.”
Dornbusch also spoke about how to properly fit backpacks and the danger of slinging it over just one shoulder. “Over time this can cause the spine to bend to one side. You need to use both straps to avoid problems such as scoliosis,” he warned. Other tips included having wide padded shoulder straps, wearing the straps tight, use a waist strap, wear the pack high on the back and do not overload it. “The maximum weight should be no more than 15 percent of your body weight,” he said. For a 60-pound child that is a maximum of 12 pounds. At the end of the presentation, students lined up to have him check the fit and adjust their backpacks.
Dornbusch plans to do more community outreach with students. “It’s easier to prevent damage from early poor posture than to try to recover from it as they get older,” he said.
The message was received by student Brayden Yelverton. “I learned that I should always use both straps when I wear my backpack,” he said. “I will try to wear it the right way now.”
“I want students to have a better understanding of the human body and why it is important for them to protect and care for their own body,” Woodings added. “Dr. Mike did an excellent job explaining the correct way to wear backpacks which will hopefully stick with them through middle school and high school where backpacks are worn throughout the day. This will help them to be healthier adults as well, and even a few students may be interested to consider possible careers around this work.”
The lesson on human body systems is a part of the Washougal language arts curriculum. “Third-grade curriculum is rich in science and social studies subjects as a means to teaching language arts,” Woodings said. “In this way, students are gaining skills in grammar, morphology, reading, writing, and listening while at the same time learning about topics which will provide them with a deeper understanding of the world.”