Poor posture is energy expensive. Muscles work harder than they should, joints get stressed in ways they are not designed to handle, your ability to move well is compromised, breathing changes, balance is affected and your nervous system doesn’t work the way it should.
Pictures like this are so common they are now the norm in our practice rather than the exception!
Children’s posture develops in step with the lives that they lead.
Day to day life used to provide children with the variety of healthy movements and physical challenges needed to stimulate the development of good children’s posture. Unfortunately for some, this good postural form was then lost later in life due to things like poor workplace habits and injury.
Also unfortunately, what we are seeing in practice is that proper posture is not well developed in the first place and so we are now seeing poor postural habits, overuse injuries and degeneration in a younger population. Much like the shift we are seeing in diseases such as type 2 diabetes to a younger population. These once exclusively latent onset adult conditions are now common in younger years.
Not developing a strong foundation posture in your formative years, means you constantly have to compensate. Either by slumping and overrelying on the ligaments, or by altering muscle control and coordination thereby increasing tone in muscles and tension on tendons. The body will often compensate in predictable ways to keep you walking, running, swimming, reading, writing, playing sports and enjoy leisure pursuits. This compensation can leave you prone to injury and at a higher risk of accelerated wear and tear.
During the years when you should be at your absolute best children are already behind the game. When the time comes that treatment for injury is unavoidable there is the 2 fold problem of:
- Treating the injury and
- Then trying to unlearn lifelong pre-programmed behaviours so that they can be replaced with new ones which should have been the foundation in the first place.
If you ever notice your child is unable to stand straight, consistently slouches, has an uneven shoulder or hip height or has any side-to-side curvature in the back when looking from behind, be sure to have them checked by a Chiropractor.
How ensure your Child’s good posture?
- Get your children’s spine’s checked by your Chiropractor
- Encourage your children to enjoy a variety of play activities. Participate as a family in outdoor activities. Bring back the adventure on the weekends
- Limit screen time both on devices and at the TV. The Australian National Guidelines for sedentary time are: NO screen time at all for children under 2 years of age, up to 1 hour for children aged between 2-5 years, and up to 2 hours for children aged 6 to 18. Yes this does seem extreme, but so are the effects of too much ‘down time’ and too much electronic stimulation for a developing brain.
- Ensure your children have proper mattresses and pillows
- In the earliest years especially, when learning to walk, barefoot is the best way to stimulate proper foot function and development. Make sure your children get quality time out side barefoot so those little foot muscles get the workout they need.
- Children should be fitted in proper footwear. Involve a podiatrist of you are not sure.
- Ensure desks are set up ergonomically and correctly for your child’s height. A labile surface to sit on, such as a Swiss ball or a balance pad, allows consistent small movements which stimulate many different brain areas allowing for increased attention and better posture.
- Make sure school backpacks are fitted correctly and minimise whats in their bag.