The advent of the technological age has affected more than just society’s knowledge base, and the way in which people do things and communicate. Our new “plugged-in” lifestyle is also affecting our posture, and it may have an especially deleterious effect on the posture of children.
Technology Can Be a Pain in the Neck and Other Places
Kids and adults spend a lot of time texting, playing games and surfing the web on their smart phones or tablets. Forward-tilting of the head adds additional strain on neck muscles. Sitting hunched over while working or playing on the computer also adds strain to your neck, back and arm muscles.
There is no question that technology is producing undesirable results in the health of those who are plugged in for hours on end. When you consider schools are now using tablets and computers as well, kids are spending many of their waking hours attached to some type of technology. It’s no wonder today’s kids develop poor posture.
Why It’s a Serious Issue
Healthcare professionals are seeing a significant change in posture, due to technology. There is an epidemic of postural decline, and it is affecting kids in ways that are unhealthy. Research is being conducted to understand the link between cognitive development and posture. It seems that poor posture impedes cognitive development. Back in the day, it was common to hear parents tell their kids, “Stop slouching and sit up straight!” There is more to that than our parents knew, and it is beginning to come to light now.
Helping Kids Develop Good Posture
Limiting the use of smart phones, tablets and computers is a daunting undertaking in today’s world. So what can you do to help your kids develop good posture? Here are some ideas to start with:
- Get them up and moving – Part of the problem with technology has to do with the angle at which the head is held while looking at the screen. Those muscles need a break. Get the kids up and moving. You may want to put on some jazzy music and get them stretching or dancing.
- Reposition the viewing screen – Have your child use their phone or tablet while lying flat on their back. If your kids have bunk beds, you can rig up a holder for the device so they can watch or play on it in a supine position.
- Teach kids the 90-90-90 rule – You will most likely need to make some adjustments for this but it will be worth the trouble. Elbows should be at a 90 degree angle when using the keyboard. They should sit in an upright position with hips at 90 degrees and feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest.
- The top of the viewing screen should be at or below eye level – This will help your child’s head stay in the optimum position rather than at a constant head-down position, which causes strain on neck and back muscles.
At Pediatric Healthcare, we would be happy to discuss more ways in which you can help your kidsdevelop good posture. Why not give us a call today, or contact us through our website? We are here to help you provide your kids an opportunity for healthy development in all areas.