Back on Track – are children’s backs fit for the future?

Project Aim

The paediatric physiotherapy department in the ABMU Health Board are seeing a high prevalence of back/neck pain amongst school children. The aims of developing the resources attached are to promote back care education amongst young people.


A greater awareness of the importance of looking after our bodies whilst still young is essential for reducing problems in adulthood – especially in the light of the statistic that adolescent back pain sufferers are 4 times more likely to experience back pain as an adult, and back pain issues are being experienced at a younger age due to a variety of factors including the sedentary lifestyle many children and young people are adopting today and the lack of awareness amongst those who are most influential in children’s lives – parents/carers and teachers - that back pain of a non-serious cause, is far more prevalent in children today.

What does the project entail

- ERGO information card with key points displayed to educate young people regarding back care


- Power point slides teaching about the spine and what can cause our backs to be painful and how it can make us feel – relevant for science lessons


- 4 workstation descriptions which the pupils were taken around – approx 5-6 minutes per station


- Pictures of different postures which were used during one of the workstations - pupils were discussing good/bad posture across the various pictures shown


- Quiz pdf – aimed at Year 8 but the wording could be changed to make it more appropriate for younger age group.


- We asked the Year 8 pupils that this scheme was piloted with to design and poster; logo; or mascot to promote awareness of back health to their peers following on from the learning obtained during the workstations – this task could be a part of art/design lesson for example (pdf attached)

What is required from the school?

- Room to allow for a ‘workshop’ carousel format – useful to have someone supervising each workshop if this is possible. If only 2 staff members present, just have 2 groups covering 2 workshop tasks at a time


- Printing and laminating of the 4 workshops including the posture pictures (see attached pdf)


- Teacher facilitating session to bring in various types of bags for one of the workshops


- There may be scope for a free taster session from a fully qualified physiotherapist depending on availability - well worth giving a call!

How do the pupils directly benefit?

- Greater awareness of the importance of back care and good habits to be established whilst still young – health promotion; keeping active; discouraging sedentary lifestyle


- Relevant to various aspects of a primary school curriculum:-

• PE – keeping active.

• Science – learning about our bodies and how important it is to take care of them.

• Maths – the graphs on the posters could be used in any way the teacher feels relevant.

• Art/Design with the activity outlined in one of the PDFs where the pupils could create a poster/mascot/logo to promote back care awareness to their peers – these could be displayed for the message to be relayed to the whole school so would be a nice project as a whole for a teacher to facilitate.

• Development of general team working skills and looking out for your peers so enhancing social skills.

Contact information

Helena Webb

Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist,

Oakwood Ward/Ward M

Morriston Hospital

Swansea SA6 6NL

(01792) 702222 – bleep 3965 or (01792) 703124

Resource links



Physio - Jolly Back


01792 702222

Showcard Back Care
showcard Back care.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.7 MB]
Back Care learning activity for pupils to share information with peers
Back Care learning activity for pupils t[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [135.8 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [1.6 MB]
So why is my back important
So why is my back important[1].pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [1.6 MB]



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