While the majority of patients we see in our Ealing chiropractic clinic are adults, we actually believe in teaching good posture as early as possible. Most back problems are caused because people don’t understand the mechanics of their own bodies and get into bad habits.
It’s not until an issue such as chronic lower back pain occurs that many of us begin to investigate issues such as posture. Kids are pretty flexible and they can get into all sorts of odd positions with ease. But they can also slouch, spend too much time on the sofa watching TV and in this day and age spend too much time with their heads looking down into their mobile devices.
Just like modern day offices, schools can be detrimental to posture. In truth, it’s never too early to make children aware of their posture and it can get them into good habits that will benefit them well into adulthood.
Here are just some of the things you might like to think about:
1. Backpacks and Kids
Make sure that you buy your child a decent backpack with comfortable straps, especially when they are first starting out in school. Overloading these, even by a small amount, can put pressure on the posture and strain the neck and spine. Distribute weight evenly when packing a bag and make sure that your child wears it properly.
2. Footwear for School
You may not think it has an impact on posture or the back but decent footwear is really important. Kids grow quickly and it’s not always easy making sure they have proper fitting shoes or the support they really need. While cost may be an issue, you should always go for quality and regularly checks that your child is comfortable when they walk and run. Poor footwear can have an impact on areas like gait and the spine.
3. Sitting in Class
The older kids get the more time they spend sitting behind a desk in class. Schools are a lot more aware of the impact this has on their fitness nowadays but it can’t always be avoided. Being hunched forward can restrict the blood flow to important parts of the body and cause tiredness. It’s also not that great for the spine as any office worker knows.
4. Posture and Your Kids
Remember when your mum and dad used to say ‘don’t slouch, sit up straight’? It’s actually pretty good advice. It’s not just in the classroom that bad posture can develop. If your child is coming home and slouching on the sofa, playing video games or spending too much time checking their smartphone, it can all put stress on their posture.
We often ignore this sort of problem because our children are so young. They don’t have lower back pain or problems with their neck. All those joints are working perfectly. The trouble is they are getting into bad habits that will probably go with them well into adulthood.
While your child probably doesn’t want to hear too much about posture, a gentle reminder now and again might just stop them developing those bad habits that impact on their back health in later life.
The British Chiropractic Association has developed a simple and fun 3 minute programme called Straighten Up UK which is designed to help improve the posture of people of all ages including children. Why not get all the family taking up the 3 minute daily exercise plan – just like brushing your teeth is a daily ritual. We’ve included the video below so you can follow along.
At our Ealing chiropractor clinic, we can help you with a wide range of back and joint problems from chronic lower back pain to headaches and migraines and simple wear and tear. If you would like to book an appointment, contact us today.