Remember your mom was telling you to stand up straight? Now it’s your turn to help your kids correct their posture so they can maintain a healthy spine and prevent back pain later in life.
According to the latest studies, obesity and lack of exercise have a major impact on children’s posture. It’s estimated that up to 78.6 percent of obese children and 69.2 percent of overweight kids have postural deviations. Flat feet and valgus knees are the most common problems. Research also shows that children who spend a lot of time at the computer are more likely to experience neck, back, and shoulder pain.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your child about the importance of maintaining good posture. Here are some simple things you can do right now:
Choose an Ergonomic Backpack
Over 90 percent of children have poor posture when carrying their backpacks. Up to 75 percent are not using both shoulder straps and other ergonomic features. In the long run, this may lead to back pain and spinal damage.
First of all, choose a quality backpack for your child. Select one with ergonomic features, such as a lightweight design, adjustable, padded shoulder straps, hip pads, hip belts, and more.
Secondly, make sure your child is using both shoulder straps. Carrying the backpack over one shoulder may lead to musculoskeletal imbalances. Beware that backpacks should not exceed 10 percent of your child’s weight or be wider than his chest.
Encourage Exercise and Make It Fun
Regular exercise is just as beneficial for kids as it is for adults. It not only helps them maintain a healthy body weight, but it may also improve children’s posture and prevent back pain later down the road.
Encourage your child to play sports, work out at home, and spend time outdoors. You can even take him to the gym with you. Simple exercises, such as supported dumbbell rows, suspended rows, and face pulls, are safe and help strengthen the back muscles. Push-ups, step-ups, and bounding skips are all an excellent choice for kids.
Most importantly, make exercise fun! Tell your child how great he will look and feel by maintaining an active lifestyle. Plan active weekends, backyard competitions, and other activities that promote exercise.
Be a role model yourself. If you’re glued to the couch, you can’t expect your kids to stay active.
Invest in Ergonomic Furniture
The average child spends over 50 hours a week at the computer or TV. About 90 percent of kids play video games on a regular basis. While it’s nothing about surfing the Web or watching a good movie, too much of it can be harmful.
If your child is spending way too much time in front of a screen, help him maintain good posture by investing in ergonomic furniture. Purchase an ergonomic desk and office chair, or better yet, swap his chair for a stability ball. Another option is to get him a walking desk or treadmill desk. These products encourage exercise and reduce the harmful effects of prolonged sitting.
Remember that we can help. If your kids have bad posture or suffer from back pain, contact us at 888-312-5764 Our team offers custom advice and physical therapy for all ages. Together, we’re going to help your child correct his posture and keep his spine healthy.
Quick video by Tatiana Bulanova on the topic of Children & Posture: