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Book Bags, Computers Can Cramp Your Style

November 22, 1990|ERIC SHEPARD

Teen-agers face lots of problems--social, academic, familial. The last thing they need is to add physical stress to the list. Everyday tensions aggravated by carrying loaded book bags or slumping in front of a computer can cause headaches as well as neck and back pain, fatigue, general malaise and even radiating pain in the arms or numb hands.

Sally Ho, a Los Angeles physical therapist who works with teen-agers and adults plagued with muscular-skeletal pain, offers these tips for reducing the physical component of stress:

When wearing a backpack, carry something in front of you to distribute the weight evenly.

Stand and sit tall, but not "military hyper-stiff." Slouching misaligns your head and neck.

Take breaks to stretch and walk around every half-hour or so when studying.

Check your computer setup: Your feet should touch the floor; the chair should support your back; your elbows should rest at 90-degree angles, and the screen should be at eye level.

Sleep on your back or side. Sleeping on your stomach creates tension in the neck.

Rebecca Andreas of Lee Vining High School is believed to be the first female football player voted to an all-league first team in the CIF Southern Section.

Rebecca, a 5-foot-6, 145-pound junior, was unanimously chosen a first-team offensive guard by the Hi-Lo League coaches recently. Lee Vining, located 25 miles north of Mammoth, competes in the eight-man small schools division.

Rebecca, 15, starts at offensive and defensive guard for the Tigers, who were 1-7. Now, in her second season, she is the only girl on the team. Of the 26 students at Lee Vining, 12 play on the team.

"Rebecca started for us in every game, and she was a solid player," said Ed Blankenship, Lee Vining's coach. "You never hear a negative word from her. She does her job well. She has a lot of natural talent."

Stan Thomas, Southern Section commissioner, told Blankenship he believes that Rebecca is the first girl in the section to be selected.

"If they could put one man on the moon, why can't they put them all?"

--Unknown

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