Stand Up Straight! Tips for Improving Posture
Not only does a straight back help maintain a healthy spine (a very important aspect of good health), but it can also make a person look more alert and full of vitality. However, many children acquire the bad habit of hunching their backs. Carrying heavy school bags to school or slouching on the sofa when playing video games can lead to the development of bad posture. Often, just a few minutes after a parent reminds their child to stand or sit up properly, the hunchback posture returns. In view of this, the Whizpa team has compiled a few simple tips for parents. By paying a little attention to this issue in your daily life, you can easily help your children develop the good habit of keeping their backs straight.
(This article is meant to provide tips for preventing hunchback posture to parents of children with healthy spines, and should not be taken as formal medical advice. If your child has issues with a hunchback posture, we recommend taking them to a qualified medical practitioner for a thorough check-up. A hunched back could be the result of a serious spinal issue, so it is good to seek treatment early. For any questions related to spinal health, please consult your family doctor.)
The causes of a hunchback posture
A hunchback posture can be brought about by a number of different causes, including congenital and acquired diseases. Congenital conditions such as malformed vertebrae may require surgery to correct the spine. Acquired diseases include Scheuermann’s disease, which can deform the spine. Those suffering from Scheuermann’s disease will need to wear back braces or undergo physical therapy to correct the spinal curvature. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
The most common cause of hunchback posture, however, is postural kyphosis. This is brought on by poor sitting, standing or sleeping positions over a long period of time. Those with postural kyphosis may require physical therapy to improve their posture in daily life, and to exercise the relevant muscles.
Tips for avoiding a hunchback posture
1) Using different kinds of equipment
There are currently many products in the market that can help improve a person’s sitting posture. There are broadly two kinds of equipment – sitting positioners and wearable positioning aids. As the name implies, sitting positioners adjust your position when sitting down and prevent you from falling into the bad habit of slouching. These positioners are usually placed on chairs and support the back, helping users maintain a good sitting posture. Wearable positioning aids are worn on the body like a backpack. By adjusting their tightness, these wearable aids can provide users with the support they need to maintain a straight back.
The benefit of these positioning aids is that users can be trained to become used to maintaining a good posture in just a short amount of time. However, if users only rely on these aids, their bad posture may return when they don’t use them.
2) Training the back muscles
Training the back muscles is another solution to the problem of poor posture. Because keeping one’s back straight requires the back muscles to be strong enough, kids should do more activities that can train their back muscles in the long run – this will allow them to practice straightening their backs subconsciously.
There are many forms of exercise that kids can do that lets them train their back muscles through doing fun activities:
Ballet(Souce: Doris Chui School of Ballet)
Many parents and children believe that ballet is a uniquely beautiful and elegant form of dance. With attention focused on the beauty of the movements, dancers are required to have very good posture. For all the positions in ballet - including standing, sitting, and step movements – dancers have to keep their bodies straight and upright in order to exude elegance. Therefore, one of the basic benefits of practicing ballet is developing enough strength to keep one’s back straight.
To find out where children can learn ballet, please see: https://whizpa.com/search-results?search=ballet
Yoga(Source: Little Yogis)
Yoga is no longer an activity just for adults. In recent years, there has been growing interest in kids’ yoga classes. In addition to helping children develop meditation skills, yoga can train kids’ core muscles, including their back muscles.
For information on kids’ yoga classes, please go to: https://whizpa.com/search-results?search=yoga
Pilates(Source: Mindful Pilates)
Pilates is also an activity that has been catching on as a kids’ extracurricular activity in recent years. There are many benefits associated with pilates – the exercises are very effective in training children to control their own bodies and strengthen their muscles. Pilates is most effective at training the core muscles - including the back muscles - which can help children keep their backs straight.
Look for children’s pilates classes at: https://whizpa.com/search-results?search=pilates
Gymnastics(Source: Electric Bunny)
Have you ever noticed how straight the gymnasts in the Olympics or other competitions keep their backs? Gymnastics is also a sport that emphasizes strength and beauty, and gymnasts need to have muscles strong enough to execute the various movements. At the same time, like with ballet, a gymnast’s good posture adds to a sense of beauty and elegance. As a result of their training, gymnasts will have very good muscle strength in their waist and back.
For information on kids’ gymnastics lessons, please see: https://whizpa.com/search-results?search=gymnastics&field_region=
Swimming(Source: Harry Wright International)
Previoiusly in a separate article, we have introduced the many benefits of swimming. One of those benefits is the training of children’s back muscles. Swimming is a sport that can exercise the whole body’s muscles at the same time, so basically all swimming strokes can help train the back muscles and help children develop enough strength in their muscles to keep their backs straight.
Look for children’s swimming classes at: https://whizpa.com/search-results?search=swimming&field_region=
With enough training of the back muscles, kids will have the strength to support keeping their backs straight without constantly needing to be reminded by their parents to do so. After all, parents generally hope that children will learn how to take good care of themselves. To help children establish good habits is a gift that parents can give their children – a gift that can help children be healthy throughout their lives.
You can search for relevant extracurricular activities on www.whizpa.com. After trying out the activities, please remember to share your feedback by writing a review. Your reviews will help other parents, and can contribute to the development of the education sector in Hong Kong!