Encouraging young children to practice proper posture and to engage in core strengthening activity is vital to laying a foundation for not just physical health but also for mental-emotional strength. Spinal health is the basis of balance and stability not just in our bodies, but in our minds and feelings. Being and feeling strong inside is the fuel kids need to build confidence in exploring the world and overcoming obstacles. How they are able to count on and control their bodies has everything to do with their capacity to manage their focus, feelings, and behavior. When children learn to stand up straight and walk tall, they feel strong and think clearly. Why?
The spine is the central support of the body and nervous system. It connects and organizes all our systems while enabling us to stand upright, perform complex movement, and connect to each other. And though we are all born with perfect posture – just watch a 1 year old walking – there are many factors that inhibit healthy functioning, such as physical accidents, emotional trauma, family habits, nutrition, furniture, sedentary activities, long hours of sitting during growth spurts, etc. Current statistics indicate that poor posture is a serious problem.
- 80% of back and neck pain is a result of bad posture.
- 56% of teenage spines are out of alignment or deformed due to chronic slumping.
- Children entering preschool are less developed in physical coordination, and, as a result, cognitive coordination
- Childhood anxiety has been found to be correlated to inability to balance
Slumping kills off innate vitality and derails the development of confidence and capability. When kids slouch, skeletal alignment is compromised, muscles and ligaments struggle to keep balance, and positive chemical messengers which regulate thoughts and feelings are repressed. This leads to lack of core strength, poor balance, less memory, hindered eyesight, headaches, and an overall sense of weakness. For children, physical weakness translates into vulnerability, anxiety, fear, and frustration. Good posture and physical strength, on the other hand, empower them to be calmer, more relaxed, and more mentally and emotionally stable.
You can help kids build the self-confidence and resilience that comes with good posture and plenty of physical activity, aerobic and slow, intentional, by:
- Having them checked out by a pediatric chiropractor or osteopath.
- Noticing how they move and relate to the world? Are they open and receptive, competent and curious, or withdrawn and worried, closed and careful? Understand that however they are is a mind-body-emotional state, not just a physical habit. Support them in activities that grow a sense of strength and competence.
- Model good posture. Discuss good posture and why it’s important. Notice other people’s posture and invite your kids to mimic them so they can experience how different postures feel and make them feel.
- Check out our new Body Series Lesson Plan exploring Physical Strength & moving into our rainbow body posture!
- Watch the 2 videos listed below from our Resources Tab and learn how to make good posture fun!