- Dr. Simone
Good posture is very important as it leads to healthy bone and muscle development, and prevents pain in childhood and later in life. When practicing proper posture, the body uses the most efficient amount of muscle energy to keep the joints aligned against the force of gravity. This way, the body does not use more energy than it should, and no part experiences excessive strain.
The skeleton is the framework of support for all the body’s systems, including circulatory, respiratory, digestive and nervous system functions. Our spine has many important mechanical roles as it serves as support, enables complex movement and protects the spinal cord. Structural collapse of the skeleton in bad posture in childhood is believed to play a role in contributing to aches and pains and other health problems, including learning disabilities and behavior abnormalities.
Actually, spinal health is the basis of balance and stability not just in our bodies, but in our minds and feelings, too. When children have unbalanced posture, they end up using excess energy to maintain their stability and balance. This can affect how they function and decrease their ability to complete fine motor tasks, school work and even to listen and learn.
It is quite intuitive that sitting with a good posture for writing increases stability and provides a solid foundation for written output and can increase attention and focus. Standing up straight and walk tall, will lead to better conditions to think, be motivated and feel better. Having correct posture actually helps the child to be more relaxed, and more physically and mentally receptive.
Body posture is not only about children’s future well-being or problems, it also says a lot about who they are. How they perceive and are perceived by others is directly related to the non-verbal message given by posture. Improving your child’s posture will likely take some time and conscious effort, but wide range of benefits are worth it.
How can you help your children improve their posture?
- Create an appropriate environment. Encouraging good posture goes beyond constant reminders of sitting up straight.
- Keep your children focused on their overall health by talking about posture as just another element of it, like nutrition, exercises and hygiene.
- Don’t let your children to watch TV or playing video games and other electronic devices in bed.
- Sitting on a stability ball during daily activities makes it harder to slouch and strengthens their core at the same time.
- Make time to have few minutes while watching TV or doing homework to incorporate some simple stretching or core strengthening exercises.
- Ensure they don’t watch TV, play computer games or sit at a desk for more than 20 minutes without a break.
- Teach your children to quick check their posture regularly in the mirror while standing or sitting, when possible.
- Include opportunities for walking during the family’s daily-life routine as it will promote better life style and fitness status for everyone involved.
- Backpacks should be constantly supervised as they should not weighs more than 10% of the child’s body-weight and both straps should be used to spread its weight evenly.
- When possible, provide a child-sized desk and chair that encourages upright posture. A child’s posture at their table or desk should allow both feet flat on the floor and knees bent at 90 degrees.
- If an adult size table is used, a pillow behind their back and small footstool should help provide support and comfortable position.
- Give your child something great to imitate! Children naturally imitate the behavior of adults around them. If you care about your posture, so will your children.