Take a Seat, Please: Unintended Consequences with Kids Sitting
Kids are just like Pacman. They could eat forever, move forever, and have fun for the longest time possible. Whether that means running from ghosts or chasing them down, kids always seem to be on the run. Even the most active Pacman needs to take breaks though. Cue the need for sitting! Kids sitting can be a healthy time to chill out from lots of play as long as it’s mixed in with an active lifestyle and good posture. Consequences from improper form or excessive sitting rarely become apparent until it is too late. Make sure you’re up to speed when it comes to sitting.
Infants in Relax Mode
From toddlers to teens, sitting can result in unintended and unwanted consequences. For infants and toddlers, they can be movement machines like our friend Pacman. Even in the early months of life, it’s important to promote activity. Leaning against seats and laying on the back for extended hours can place pressure on the head or cause your kiddo to favor one side over the other. Situations like these can contribute to plagiocephaly or torticollis respectively. As an alternative, parents can choose to hold their babies in their laps to add variety to sitting and laying positions. Of course, make sure your baby is getting plenty of opportunities to move such as when playing at tummy time.
Kids Sitting and Screen Time
For older kids and teens, the desire to move around can lessen when screens are introduced into their life. Lots of sitting in front of a favorite game or chatting with friends on social media can feel fun for kids. When moderation is ignored though, screen time can contribute to a host of problems including weight gain, trouble sleeping, poor posture, and anxiety.
It’s recommended that kids limit screen time to two hours a day. If your kiddo has been getting more than two hours, know that you’re not alone. We live in a digital age after all! The best course of action for limiting screen time would be setting reasonable goals for increased activity time and following through with it. Even walking or gardening can count towards active time. Whatever way your child likes to move, run with it!
Is there a “W” in Kids’ Sitting?
For those following us closely, you’ve heard about W-sitting a few times. Some kids enter into a W-sitting position at play. While there is debate as to whether W-sitting is okay or not, we raise the question: is it worth the risk for your kiddo? From what we know at our office, we’re confident in saying that W-sitting can cause issues with hips, core muscles, muscle tension, and trunk rotation. In a previous blog, we listed safer alternatives to W-sitting that you might want to check out if you notice your kiddo moving into this position. A gentle reminder to move to a different position can go a long way.
Forget Floor Seats
At first glance, floor seats like Bumbo appear to be a fine idea for kids sitting, but we highly advise against using this kind of seat. From poor posture to muscle stiffness, floor seats spell trouble in too many different ways. If your baby can be without a seat such as playing on a playmat or at tummy time, then that’s the best approach for supporting healthy development of growing muscles. Of course, floor seat alternatives do exist as the need arises.
If your little Pacman seems to be having difficulty moving after all the cheese that life has to offer, give us a call.