Helping your Child to have good posture

Helping your child have good posture

Being conscious of good posture is something that can easily fall by the wayside. Many times the benefits are not instant, so we tend to not give this subject much thought. Have you ever noticed how some people just look great in photos? Chances are their posture has a lot to do with it!

Would you believe that slouching not only tends to make a person look older than they are, shorter than they are, but according to Dr. Mao,(1) even decreases your oxygen intake leading to lack of energy. In fact, by simply having good posture there are immediate primary, as well as secondary, benefits. Having proper posture “can help you make a good first impression, and appear more attractive and confident. When you avoid slouching, you look taller and slimmer.”(2)



What is Good Posture?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.” (3)

Good posture should feel effortless. This means the spine is not constantly pulled overly straight, but maintains the two natural curves of your back.(4) Good posture is such an easy gift that you can give to your children, with lifelong benefits. All you have to do is lead by example with good posture yourself.

As you can see in the photo above, bad posture creates numerous stress points on the body. It is no wonder that a prolonged habit of bad posture can lead to so many health difficulties and an overall tiredness from the compression of the lungs.

Benefits of good posture in children:

  • Promotes proper breathing by opening the lungs wide (like the “core opening” breathing exercises in yoga, pilates, etc.)
  • Helps avoid future back problems like stress on ligaments, spinal disk problems, constricted blood vessels and nerves
  • Aligned spine prevents scoliosis
  • Better blood circulation
  • Prevents muscle fatigue
  • Trims your silhouette
  • Confident appearance
Never heard of children’s yoga? Check out the  post on The Benefits of Kids Yoga.

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Building good Posture Habits:

It may be easier than you think to help children develop good posture. Concentrate on your own posture first and see if your child follows suit. Chances are, especially with younger children, they will take your cues without prompting. Besides that, other ways to help are:

  • Remind your children to sit with their lumbar region fully against the back of the chair to utilize the chair’s firm outline.
  • Bring flats. Even if wearing heels is a must, consider bringing a second pair of shoes like these Solemates to change into after leaving the office or any event. Often wearing heels for an extended period may cause future back and joint problems. Also, be wary of how long your children wear shoes with heels.
  • Encourage sports and exercise such as yoga, gymnastics, swimming, ballet or other forms of dance. All are excellent ways to promote good posture. When was the last time you saw a gymnast or dancer slouching? Exactly! Each of these sports encourages good body carriage, as well as muscle control that supports good posture.
  • Keep your feet on the floor. As tempting as it may be to cross your legs, practice keeping both feet flat on the floor while eating or sitting at your desk. Grounding your feet will help to keep your back straighter.
  • Commend your child for sitting up straight or pulling their shoulders back. A small note of praise can go a long way.
  • Seek out ergonomic furniture, mattresses, etc.

By developing good posture habits for yourself and for your children you will all enjoy years of healthier and happier living.

For more ideas on activities to build strength and muscle control check out our post on Working Out With Your Kids. 

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This post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician, doctor or health care professional. Please read our terms of use for more information.

Sources:

  1. http://www.lifescript.com/well-being/articles/s/stop slouching.aspx
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/338616-the-advantages-of-good-posture/
  3. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/back_health/hic_posture_for_a_healthy_back.aspx
  4. http://personalexcellence.co/blog/good-posture/

Photo Credit: The Art of Making a Baby, Kirsten H., Adapted from Flickr

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Kirsten

Kirsten is a military wife by day, an artist by night, and an around-the-clock-mommy to her (almost) two year old daughter and a son due in the Fall. She loves to travel and is always dreaming of her next adventure. Her interests include everything from extreme sports like skydiving and rock climbing to languages and studying philosophy. As a Californian now living in South Dakota, there is no taking that golden sunshine out of this California Girl.

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