How is your kid’s posture ?
Tips to help keep your kids spine growing in a healthy way.
The change from adults working from working in an office to home has caused many adults to experience an increase in neck and upper back pain. This change also impacts the smallest members of the family, kids.
Like us, kids too are experiencing an increase in sitting & screen time use from home schooling. Although kids are generally more bendy and flexible than adults, prolonged loading has the potential to cause issues now but also into the future. As a kid’s spine grows and develops, it does so in response to its environment.
So here are my top 5 tips for better posture for kids;
- Movement is medicine – I know this is pretty straight forward and very obvious, exercise doesn’t have to be structured or regimented. The key for helping posture is creating a variation of movement as frequent as possible. It could be once they have performed a home schooling task, put on their favourite song and dance, or get them to do 10 star jumps, or run to the back fence and back.
- Set limits around screen time and make them earn it. Have a set time limit for screens and make them earn it by performing activities or exercises before they can have screen time. This is a great way to incentivise kids to exercise. It might be that they need to go out and play for 1 hour to earn 30mins of screen time. It’s important to make them part of the process of deciding what is fair and what they will agree to. This will help reduce arguments later as they have agreed to and created the terms.
- Get them exercising with you. You most likely might do some stretching or jump on a roller to help yourself, so why not get the kids involved. More often than not the kids will find it fun and make a bit of a game out of it. Although they might not do it as long or as well as you, they fact they did it is the key. Stretching the upper back and hips out will benefit them and it will counteract the impact of sitting all day.
- Encouraging correct sitting. This is by far the hardest part, it will mean most likely you will sound like a broken record. The key is trying to get them to understand why, and incentivise the positive behaviour. Understand as well they don’t have to do it all the time, but the more they sit up and the less they slouch, the better.
- Manual therapies are good for them too! Chiropractic, physiotherapy, massage or acupuncture are good for you as an adult, so too are they good for kids. As a practitioner I am trained to treat kids for a variety of conditions and reasons. Advice coming from a professional is often perceived differently to advice from mum and dad. So perhaps its work booking them in with a practitioner from Health Space
The current change in everyone’s environment has led to challenges in so many different ways. How we adapt to all of these stressors, physically, emotionally and nutritional will determine how well we get through this current situation. The 5 tips outlined are by no means complete but should help give you some ideas and strategies to help improve your kids spines and posture.
Dr Nicholas Miller
Dr Nicholas Miller has extensive sports experience, from Amateur to Olympic level, from running to Crossfit and many more. A high level athlete himself, Nicholas works to helps his patients to recover but also to perform better. Dr Nicholas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org