Rahul Verma, 15, a Class 10 student, is gearing up for his Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) exams, which begin on March 1.
For almost eight hours a day, Verma sits stooped over his books. Lately, he has begun complaining of severe back pain. Verma would often slouch and study on his bed. Last week, when the pain got unbearable, Verma visited an orthopedist who advised sitting on a table while studying.
Like Verma, thousands of students tend to ignore the correct posture to adopt while studying and end up suffering from back and neck pain. "Students tend to use a desk for a prolonged time in school as well as at home. The distance between the study table and eyes should be at least 18 inches to avoid a backache," said Dr Sanjeev Bagai, a consultant pediatrician and nephrologist.
"Students tend to slouch and sit cross legged which also causes severe side effects," added Bagai.
"In a month, we receive at least five cases of Class 10 and Class 12 students complaining of severe back and neck pains. These cases tend to increase during exam time," said Dr Ameet Pispati, orthopedic surgeon with Jaslok Hospital.
"The computer used by students should always be at eye level to avoid strain on the back and neck. Children have a tendency to sit on the bed while studying. The posture tires the student," added Pispati. Orthopedists said it was best to avoid reading while lying on your back, stomach or side.
Doctors said parents should monitor the way their child sits as a good posture enables the child to breathe properly. They should encourage children to take up yoga, meditation or pilates to keep them physically fit during examinations.
"Honestly, I am more concerned with the marks my child will score," said Vandana Sharma, a resident of Andheri, whose son will appear for the Class 12 board exams this year.
"Students should keep changing their positions every 30 minutes," said Dr Arvind Kulkarni, spine surgeon, Bombay Hospital.