The Importance of Good Posture at a Young Age

mother and child sitting up straight doing yoga

What does it mean to have good posture?

Having good posture means standing in a position that centers your weight over your feet. It also means sitting up straight and using the correct form while you’re exercising.

  • Good posture while standing includes the following:
  • Chin parallel to the floor
  • Shoulders even
  • No flexing or arching of the spine
  • Arms at your sides with straight and even elbows
  • Hips even
  • Abdominal muscles braced
  • Knees even and pointing straight ahead

If you’re sitting, good posture includes the following:

  • Chin parallel to floor
  • Shoulders, hips, and knees at even heights
  • Knees and feet pointing straight ahead

Why is good posture so important, especially at a young age?

Gravity exerts a force on our joints, ligaments, and muscles, and good posture helps evenly distribute this force throughout our body. In this way, no one structure ends up being overstressed. You’ll also have better balance, whether you’re playing a sport or are simply carrying out the normal movements of your day, such as walking or standing up from a sitting position.

Poor posture can put stress and strain on specific body parts such as the spine, which can lead to pain. It can also cause your body to feel more fatigued.

It’s especially important for children to be aware of good posture because the habits they develop can go on for a lifetime. Over years, this can cause structural anatomical changes to occur and raise their risk of having pain and/or injury.

What sort of activities or tendencies can lead to bad posture?

The following can lead to bad posture:

  • Hunching up your shoulders or leaning forward while you’re working on the computer
  • Failing to take frequent breaks (about every 30 minutes) when you’re using the computer
  • Spending too much time looking down at a device like a phone or tablet
  • Not getting enough physical activity or a good variety of physical activities
  • Sitting too much
  • Wearing shoes that are too stiff or restrictive

What long-lasting problems can result from bad posture?

Poor posture can cause the following long-lasting issues:

  • Back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Neck pain
  • Fatigue, since tension and compression are added to structures that weren’t meant to bear the weight
  • Poor circulation, which can increase the risk of varicose veins
  • Making arthritis worse by putting pressure on one part of the joint
  • Headaches
  • Compromised ability to breathe well

What are some ways to maintain good posture or improve your posture?

The following are some good ways to improve your posture:

  • Stand or sit in a chair in front of a mirror and practice good posture
  • Take frequent breaks if you’re using a computer or other electronic device
  • Get regular exercise that’s varied to help strengthen your back and other body parts
  • Work properly by sitting back in your chair, using a lumbar pillow, and slightly elevating your knees
  • Stretch more – include it in your exercise program and stretch when you get up
  • Strengthen your core (from your rib cage to your mid-thigh) with activities like Yoga or Pilates

To learn more about posture or to be checked for posture-related pain or other issues, make an appointment today with Specialty Orthopaedics of Harrison, NY. We specialize in providing a full range of effective treatments for musculoskeletal issues.

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