928-771-9327

928-771-9327

Email Us

928-771-9327

Email

How to improve your child’s posture.

Apr 1, 2024

Girl slouching on phone

In our digital age, it’s no surprise that posture gets pushed to the side. Oftentimes, form is compromised from computer use, cellular use, and especially for school-aged kids, from backpacks. As our kids grow up with technology, we never want to see posture take a backseat because it can cause complications with pain and balance. Are you ready to help your kids achieve great posture?

Improving Posture and Strength Through Awareness and Regular Exercise

Awareness is always the first step in making improvements. If you are unaware of a problem, the issue persists. Posture doesn’t necessarily produce discomfort, but over time, you will take notice. For kids, it can be challenging to constantly remind them of good posture, but even strengthening muscles can help. Keep in mind that the more active your kiddo is with sport or another moving form, the stronger muscles in the back and abdominals will become. Abdominal and back strength go a long way to improving form. Just another reason why regular exercise is beneficial!

Protecting Spinal Health: Backpack Weight Guidelines for Kids

We know that extra weight on our bodies does not do us any favors. The same logic applies to backpack weight. Backpacks force our kiddos to compensate for the extra baggage, so to speak. When they do that, they compromise the natural curve of the spine, which results in muscle strain. In order to prevent this, we must aim to pack lighter or consider using a rolling backpack.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that backpack weight be 10 – 20 percent of the body weight, and no more than that! If you suspect that a backpack is too heavy for your kiddo, ensure they remove any unnecessary items weekly. Carrying a lunch bag for food and drinks can help move weight off of the back as well. If it’s not necessary, go ahead and lose it.

Promoting Good Posture: Tips for Parents and Kids in the Digital Age

Actively working to improve posture is sometimes harder to address because we are not always aware of our position in relation to the world. Practicing mindfulness will help get your kiddo where they want to go with good posture, but we must first teach what this looks like. When sitting at a computer, it’s best to put your back against the back of a chair. Feet should be flat on the floor and the knees at a right angle. Try not to lean forward by bringing the chair close to the table. To advance this practice, remember to relax your shoulders as much as possible, which releases tension.

Cell phones, like computers, can cause strain on the back and neck muscles due to the angle of a head tilt. Teaching your kids to be as straight as often as possible can alleviate issues. Set rules about cell phone usage such as not using it in bed or on the couch. Encourage your child to also stretch, move around, and take breaks from the phone. You can set timers to remind your kiddo (or you) from spending too much time in front of a device, whether it’s a computer or cell phone. Easier said than done, we know, but parents modeling this behavior will serve as a strong influence. Remember to be light as a feather, not stiff as a board.

As parents, we understand the challenges of ensuring our children maintain good posture and spinal health in today’s digital world. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to best support your child’s posture needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experienced physical therapists. With personalized guidance and expert support, we can work together to address any concerns and develop a plan to promote healthy posture habits for your child. Let’s prioritize your child’s spinal health together – contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated physical therapists!

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated to reflect the most up-to-date information for parents and caregivers.