HEALTHY SPINAL HABITS FOR KIDS
As schools begin to open up and children head off to class, it’s important to take the harsh impacts of a school day into consideration. Even if your child is still learning from home, you need to consider some factors that may be contributing to lasting back problems for your child. Sitting all day in front of a screen can force your child to develop bad habits that affect posture and mobility. Nutrition and lack of physical activity may also be impacted by a child’s habits at school and home. Fortunately, children are adaptable and can fix harmful habits by practising correct, mindful posture. Read below to learn more about instilling healthy spinal habits in your child.
REDUCE BACKPACK WEIGHT
At school, many children lug around backpacks that are stuffed with books, assignments, pencils, and snacks. This weight can take a toll on children’s spines. They don’t need to be using and carrying all of these supplies at once, so encourage your child to take advantage of a locker or personal cubby space. When your child does need to carry a full backpack, make sure that their pack fits their body size and the straps are adjusted accordingly. Remind your child to only pack the essentials.
After hours in a classroom, kids begin to slouch. Incorrect posture makes it more difficult for children to focus and participate in the classroom or at home, not to mention the damage to the spine and core muscles. Good posture means both feet should be flat on the ground, with shoulders back and relaxed. If your child is doing school work from home, make sure they have a desk and chair that is appropriate for their size.
LIMIT SCREEN TIME
Children learning from home are being forced to sit in front of screens for longer than usual. Even in the classroom, kids are utilising computers and tablets more than ever before. Let your child take breaks away from the screen during long instructional periods. When learning is done for the day, limit recreational screen time as much as possible. Encourage your child to play outside whenever possible.
FOCUS ON NUTRITION
It’s easy to forget about adequate nutrition during the busy work and school week. However, learning and general health is greatly impacted by proper nutrition, so don’t forget to make healthy eating a priority. Breakfast and adequate hydration are crucial for young, growing bodies.
ENCOURAGE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
We all know physical activity is an important part of overall health in children. Encourage your child to participate in sports and outdoor activities at school. If your child is learning from home, provide the space and equipment for them to get moving. The spine is protected by strong core muscles, which can be strengthened with general play and activity. If your child is getting restless while learning, let them stretch out and release some energy!
Healthy habits that protect the spine and back can be easily instilled at a young age. Show your child how to sit correctly, and allow them time to take breaks to move around. Keep your child’s backpack light at school by packing only the essentials. If you have questions about your child’s spinal health, get in touch with the experienced team at Better Backs. Habits that are established while your child is young will set them on a path for good spinal health for the rest of their life.