Posture & Back To School

It’s that time of year again as children head back to school. An exciting time for sure; a new year level, new teachers, new subjects and a plethora of new experiences to be had. At this time of year, we often get bombarded with questions regarding children’s posture and exercises to help improve function. So below, we’ve compiled together our top tips in get your child’s back feeling good with posture exercises for kids that they will actually like!

Before diving into our tips regarding posture and posture exercises for kids, it’s important to define, “What is good posture?” First and foremost we believe posture is very dynamic and try not to get caught up, nor our patients, into this thought of the ‘perfect’ posture. We are however true believers that a strong active spine can withstand anything we throw at it, therefore posture exercises for kids which include strengthening movements are a great option! The more often we’re avoiding those longer drawn out activities with sustained posture (ie. Studying or playing games) and remain active, the better chance the muscles have to circulate blood flow, improve circulation and improve muscle and spine function.

1. Computer Use

As schools increasing integrate more IT into the school curriculum, like it or hate it there has been a big shift in computer and laptop based education for our kids. Also commonly connected in current literature is the association of postural angles with increased computer use. Making small ergonomic adjustments are an easy way of making changes to how we sit in the chair and look at the screen. Importantly, adjusting the monitor such that the upper third of the screen is at eye height allows the neck to sit in an ideal position to use our eyes to scan the screen, as opposed to having to slouch the neck down. When seated, having the lumbar supported is also important in maintaining good posture through the lumbar spine and allows for further comfort and less chance of the lumbar postural muscles having to over work – all good things! It’s also easy to convince your kids to keep this set up as it will feel good, reduce strain and therefore they will even like it better than a laptop on their bed!

Sitting Posture Computer Screen

2. Mobile Phone Use

One particular large concern for parents is the increasing use of mobile phones. As the technology continues to improve in power and function, we’re all increasingly using our phones for more and more of today’s daily task’s, in both adults and adolescents alike. As in our point above, there is an increasing larger population with their heads down minding their business. This slouching neck position is often a big contributing factor in neck-shoulder pain and headache type issues. The hunching postures we adopt as we continue to remain in these postures often lead to increase pressure on other parts of our anatomy including lungs and organs. In these cases, it is often about sharing the load across the other body parts or at least limiting the amount of contributing phone use. One important thing we suggest is lifting the phone to a more ideal height or resting it on a kick stand could be a good option for your kids.

Mobile Phones And Posture

3. Backpacks

Purchasing a new backpack is always an exciting prospect for any student and investing in a sturdy bag that will withstand the rigours of school is always a priority. However, although the bag may take a beating, the same shouldn’t be said for your back and spine. Backpack positioning and overall load can play a critical role in spinal posture. We recommend that the backpack should not weight anymore than 10-15% of your child’s weight. Additionally, placing the load lower on the spine, cradling nicely in the low of the back, reduces the affect of forward lean through the trunk and minimises chin poke (forward head) as a result. Keeping the load tightly squeezing on the back is also very important, so any chest or lumbar straps can also be very useful. These simple tips can help improve pain or poor posture in your kids that is associated with a poor fitting backpack.

Backpack Posture Image

Posture exercises for kids

Exercises for your kids to help improve pain that may result from consistent poor posture, or inactivity, can be as simple as getting up and moving around the room for a few minutes, stepping outside to go for a short walk; or they can be more structured such as a strength training program prescribed by a Physiotherapist. One reason many parents avoid posture exercises for their kids is that they think that they will be extremely complicated or time consuming, whereas it is quite the opposite! If you would like some assistance in helping your kids to decrease pain and increase function, get in touch with one of our passionate Physiotherapists today.

If you have any questions after reading this blog or believe your kids need an assessment, whether it be for pain, poor posture or simply some exercises that may help long term, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team at either of our Modbury or Flinders Park clinics to make an appointment; they really like working with kids to prevent any issues in future!

And with that we’ll leave the convincing now for you to do!

Good luck for a new school year with your kids!

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Mana NankivellMana Nankivell
00:38 18 Apr 23
I highly recommend Trent and the Physio Fit team.I sustained a knee injury (fat pad impingement) in a half-marathon around 18 months ago, and after 12 months of seeing a (different) physio and sports doctors without any improvement, I was told by the doctor that I would "probably just have to put up with the pain".I booked in with the team at Physio Fit for another opinion, and it was the best decision I ever made. Trent put together a very manageable rehab plan for me and was quick to respond and adapt when something didn't work out. In the past 6 months, I've gone from not being able to walk without pain or even think about hiking, running or cycling without my knee flaring up, to running my first post-injury 5.5km trail run and hiking 10km with a 10kg pack!
Laura O'ConnorLaura O'Connor
08:47 05 Feb 23
This clinic is the pinnacle of physiotherapy in Adelaide. Ive seen a couple of different physios at physiofit over the years for different injuries and the experience has been absolutely amazing each time! Highly recommend seeing the team here for all your physio needs!
Ryen ArcherRyen Archer
02:50 03 Feb 23
Corey is absolutely fantastic, worked out my issues and we have been working to improve them for a few months now and all I can say is I am feeling a million times better! thanks physio fit! Keep up the great work!
Amy SzyndlerAmy Szyndler
02:44 03 Feb 23
I attended Physio Fit to get my tennis elbow treated. Always a friendly greeting from the lovely reception staff, and my physio, Corey, was fantastic; very friendly, knowledgeable and provided treatment that was personalised and holistic. Following Corey's advice and exercise regime helped me get back to the activities I enjoy, pain-free. Highly recommended.
Debbie MossDebbie Moss
07:21 02 Feb 23
Have been taking my daughter here for quite a few months now for ongoing back issues. The care that she has been given through her Physiotherapist Corey, has been fantastic. Everything has been explained and if exercises have needed to be modified he has. Would thoroughly recommend this place for any Physio needs. All staff that we have dealt with have been friendly and professional. A great team and environment.
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