How to Ensure Your Children Have Good Posture

Posture is essentially a movement pattern of your spine, which is very important for your health. If you hunch, slouch or stoop then your movement pattern will be affected and can lead to problems.

Problems with this movement pattern can be caused by conditions or health behaviours that weaken the supporting structures of the spine, which includes the back muscles, hips, shoulders, neck and deep core muscles.

People can also be born with genetic conditions that affect their structures which has the ability to influence posture from birth. These conditions can be managed, and the effects minimised to correct/improve the movement pattern over time.

Ways that posture can be affected:

  • Genetic condition
  • Poor health behaviours eg. Slouching, hunching, stooping, using small screens/phones
    • Use of technology: gaming, tablet, phone use, etc.
  • Weak back muscles on either side of the spine
  • Weak deep core muscles
  • Excessive sitting and other sedentary behaviours

The risk for children

Childhood and adolescent populations are generally exposed to a lifestyle which is more sedentary than previous generations. They are also exposed to technology at a younger and younger age, which can influence their movement patterns if not practiced properly or corrected.

This time of growth and development can really set up either a CORRECT or INCORRECT movement pattern which can affect the health/posture of an individual in their future years.

What does having a good movement pattern mean for your child?

  • Their bones and joints are in line, allowing muscles to be used correctly
  • Maintaining the 3 normal curvatures of their spine
  • The supporting ligaments of their spine ae not being stressed
  • Their fatigue levels during physical activity are reduced
  • Limited or no pain in their back and neck

What you can do and make sure your kids do?

  • Exercise regularly – increase your kids’ physical activity
    • Running, walking, cycling and playing different sports with their friends
  • Reduce the time spent on technology particularly for long periods of time; the body is subject to being sedentary during technology use, which is made even worse when not using the right movement pattern
  • Make a conscious effort to correct your own posture when using technology and try to correct those around you like your kids
  • Pilates exercises – increase the activation and strength of deep core muscles that support the spine
  • Stretching
  • Standing tall – making a conscious effort to straighten the back, moving shoulders down to their natural resting position when walking
  • Neck stretches – simple head movements to loosen tight muscles
  • Lie flat on the ground for a couple minutes each day without the use of cushions

Of course, not all parents reading this article, will be confident in offering the correct advice to their children, nor will they be certain if what they think they see as an issue, is an issue. If this sounds like you, here is where our team at Precision Physio St Marys and Precision Physio Concord can help…

What we offer at Precision Physio

  • Physiotherapy
    • Manual therapy to correct muscle flexibility and joint movement issues that affect your ability to perform a correct movement pattern
  • Exercises Physiology
    • Demonstrate, educate and prescribe exercises to correct biomechanics, movement patterns and stability of the spine
  • Group Classes
    • Our “Healthy Spines” and “Cross Core” group exercise classes are both run twice a week. They are specific for those with spinal conditions both in their upper and lower back. These classes are aimed at strengthening the surrounding structures of the spine and increasing joint movements which will lead to a better movement pattern of the spine.

Book an appointment

If you need help supporting your child’s development, or for that matter your own, we would suggest that you arrange an assessment with one of our team to ensure the best plan is created for moving forwards. You can contact us on 02 8607 4000 or request a call by completing this form.

This blog was written by Savio Gracias Flor – Exercise Physiologist at Precision Physio St Marys If you would like more information, or to work specifically with Savio, you can contact him through the Precision Physio St Marys clinic: 02 9623 2220 or book in online.

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