Growing up, you were probably constantly reminded about your poor posture. You were told time and again to keep your shoulders up, not to slouch, and to sit up straight. While some may have brushed off the advice, deeming it “nagging”, those who kept true to it over the years are likely the benefactors of straighter spines and a higher quality of life. In fact, many studies reveal that when a child exhibits good posture habits from a young age, it positively affects their health both in the present and further down the road.
Today, especially with the time kids are spending using technology, parents can have an extra difficult time ensuring their children are practicing good posture. Would you believe that 84 percent of 18 to 21 years-old have admitted to suffering from back pain in the past year? The only way to stop this trend is to help our children learn better posture before it’s too late!
How to Improve Your Child’s Posture
1. Heavy Backpacks
When not worn or carried properly, a heavy backpack can pull on the shoulders, which can cause children to slouch, because it’s the only way they can still carry the weight. To prevent this, the weight of the bag should be evenly distributed across the shoulders and upper torso.
If your child is carrying more than 10% to 15% of their body weight, it’s time to consider lightening the load. Investing in a backpack with the following features will help distribute the weight evenly and keep your child comfortable:
- a lightweight backpack
- wide padded shoulder straps
- padded back
- a waist and upper chest belt
- multiple compartments
A typical child today will spend roughly 50 hours a week in front of a screen. This may involve slouching while typing on the computer, sitting in the same position for hours on end while video gaming, or laying in awkward and unnatural positions while texting. We know that time with technology is inevitable – so here are some simple ways to ensure your children are maintaining good posture while engaging with their screens:
- Try to have them sit on an exercise ball
- Invest in ergonomically friendly furniture
- Make sure your child is taking breaks/stretching
3. Become a Posture Role Model
<a href="http://thepowerofposture prozac medicine.net/?page_id=127″>Roughly 66 percent of parents report never having given advice about posture to their kids. Wow! The simple truth is that every child and their behaviour is a product of their environment; this means that the best way to ensure your children know what proper posture is and why it’s so important, is to simply set an example. Exhibit proper posture throughout the day, and reinforce your kids’ good behaviour when they’re imitating you, and eventually, that behaviour will just come naturally to them.
4. Keeping Active
Good posture is a combination of balanced strength and flexibility of certain kinds of muscles. When your children are staying active, they are strengthening these essential muscles. Finding a physical activity your child loves (we can think of more than a few offered at Adventure Valley!) will make it easier for them to keep better posture. When they’re active, that’s also more time away from activities that may contribute to poor posture (that pesky technology again!).
Remember that posture habits will affect not only your children, but the generations in your family for years to come. Use these tools to keep your loved ones healthy and happy!