Creating Good Posture Habits in Your Children
May is National Correct Posture Month, so now is a great time to take a look at our own posture habits, as well as those of our children. Studies show that poor posture is a leading cause of back and neck pain at all ages – from children to the elderly. Poor posture has also been linked to headaches, digestive problems, breathing problems and circulation problems.
Working professionals find themselves hunched over their keyboards and leaning back in their desk chairs. Teenagers are often slumped on the couch playing video games or slouching while texting. Young children are even plagued with poor posture due to heavy school backpacks
But the good news is there are easy ways to strengthen posture
, and the earlier you create good posture habits in your children, the better.
Creating good posture habits in your children starts with being a good role model. If a child sees their parents slouching and hunching over, they are likely to mimic that behavior. Setting a good example is the first step to correcting posture in our children. Tell children to stand up straight and tall, with their shoulders back and chin up. The simple act of straightening up can give children, or anyone else, a quick confidence booster.
Parents can have children practice sitting up straight, and then take a try at slouching, just so they can feel the difference. To help a child understand what good posture feels like, tell them to imagine that their head is being lifted up by a balloon. The balloon lifts their head up and their body up, but it keeps their feet planted firmly on the ground. This analogy is fun and easy for children to understand.
Next, parents should focus on what situations might be causing children to have poor posture. Once this has been determined, parents can take action to support proper posture. For instance, if a child is constantly using a laptop computer or tablet in bed or on the couch, they are probably slouching over. To support correct posture, parents can provide a desk and chair appropriate for the child’s size and age to encourage the child to sit up and support their spine, rather than slouch over.
Of course, regular exercise and play time will help to strengthen muscles and bones and will encourage good posture in both children and adults.
Correct posture is a key element of overall health. Start creating good posture habits in your children today!