Good posture is vital when it comes to your child’s general health and well-being. If they make a habit out of standing and sitting properly at a young age, they’ll be more likely to carry this into their adulthood. And proper posture truly does matter, especially later in life, when you start feeling all sorts of aches and pains. It can reduce back pain, give you more energy, and have a positive impact on your self-esteem.
However, because most children these days are slumped in front of their computer screens, very few of them adopt a healthy posture naturally. Luckily, there are ways to turn this around and teach your children how to do it well. Here’s how to help your child stand tall and proud.
Minimize the time they spend sitting
Sitting for too long takes a toll on children’s spinal discs, potentially leading to disc bulging over time. It causes stiffness in the hip flexors and hamstrings, and weakens core muscles. All of this has a severe effect on their posture.
Sure they need to sit at school, but they don’t also have to do it in their spare time. Start by limiting their screen time. This will do wonders for their mental health as well as decrease eye strain, lower their blood pressure, and reduce the risk of multiple diseases, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It can also shed excess body weight, which is known to have a negative effect on posture.
While they may not like it at first, they’ll get used to their new routine over time, especially if they find something else that’s fun to do. And you’ll make sure they do by encouraging them to be physically active.
Introduce them to the joys of physical activity
Exercise strengthens your children’s muscles, which means they’re able to hold their body properly.
Most children get very little physical exercise nowadays, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Humans are built to move around and your child will come to realize this too. Even if they;re very attached to their sedentary lifestyle and find it hard to warm up to exercise, it can grow on them over time. Don’t give up – instead, present them with different possibilities and give them a choice.
For example, you can take them out on a hike, go swimming together, or visit a trampoline park where they can jump to their heart’s content. Another option is to sign them up for organized sports so they can also socialize while they work out. The possibilities are endless. Check in with them to see what they prefer and take it from there.
Do targeted exercises together
There are different types of workouts that children can do to perfect their posture. These exercises can help reduce back pain if they already have it as well as help them stand more upright:
- Sitting stretches: The child should first sit in a chair with their back straight. Then, they need to stretch as if trying to join their shoulder blades. They should stay in this position for between 5 and 10 seconds.
- Holding a ball: The child sits in a chair so there’s some room between their back and the back of the chair. You can then put a tennis ball in this space. They need to remain still with their back straight and try to keep the ball there.
- Wall angels: If your kids love making snow angels, this is just the thing for them. They need to stand with their back touching the wall and stretch out their arms. They should keep touching the wall with their back while moving their arms.
If you have concerns about your child’s posture, it’s strongly advisable to consult a physical therapist who can accurately determine if there’s a problem and provide timely treatment.