As a smartphone user since my middle school years, I spend a lot of time hunched over a screen. While spending time with technology can be productive and educational, all that bending over really messed with my posture. I found myself constantly slouching and looking down, even when I wasn’t using my phone. As a result of my poor posture, I felt a lot of pain in my neck and back. The discomfort got so great that I had no other choice: I had to fix my posture.
Maintaining good posture is an intimidating endeavor! It takes a lot of focus to coach your back and spine into alignment—not to mention a lot of patience. It took some time, but eventually I mustered the motivation to begin regularly practicing yoga. Ever since I started my practice, I’ve noticed that my posture has improved like crazy. I look and feel healthier, and my self-confidence has skyrocketed. I still catch myself slouching every now and then, but as I keep gently guiding my body back into alignment, it seems to happen less and less.
Good posture has so many health benefits for parents and kids alike. It boosts energy, promotes a healthy back, and improves lung capacity. Teaching your kids to maintain good posture from an early age also ensures that they won’t have to stress about correcting bad posture in the future—even if they spend a lot of time on their smartphone. Before we delve deeper into the benefits of good posture, though, let’s find out what good posture looks like.
What Does Good Posture Look Like?
As young members of a technological society, kids spend a lot of time bent over screens. This may cause their posture to fall out of alignment. If this is the case, you may need to take on the role of coach and help them avoid bad posture. MedlinePlus reminds us of a few key points about good posture: “your head should be above your shoulders, and the top of your shoulder should be over the hips.” Here are some tips from the same website about how to improve posture when standing:
- Stand up straight and tall
- Keep your shoulders back
- Pull your stomach in
- Put your weight mostly on the balls of your feet
- Keep your head level
- Let your arms hang down naturally at your sides
- Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart
These tips sound like a lot to be mindful of—and they are. Remind your kiddos (and yourself) to be patient when maintaining good posture. It’s a lot of hard work! It won’t get perfect in a day, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly the human body catches on when continually corrected.
Now that we know what it means to have good posture, let’s take a look at five benefits of good posture.
1. More of That Sweet, Sweet Energy
Does your kiddo get fatigued quickly? Their posture may have something to do with that. Poor posture causes joints and bones to slip out of proper alignment, which in turn forces muscles to work harder to make up for the body’s inefficiency. Even something as simple as sitting and standing can make muscles tired when you have poor posture.
Practicing good posture, on the other hand, gives your body more energy and lets you go about your day without stressing about fatigue. When your joints and bones are correctly aligned, your muscles don’t have to strain as much to get their job done. Of course, posture isn’t the only fix to fatigue, so make sure your child follows a routine. There are so many benefits to getting a full night’s sleep and eating enough.
Healthy phone habits are just as important as your morning routine—that’s why smartphones from Troomi Wireless encourage kids to develop a positive relationship with technology. Click here to learn a bit more about how Troomi phones foster childhood creativity and inspire kids to enjoy life away from a screen. After all, healthy habits are the key to a healthy life!
2. Good Posture Promotes a Healthy Back
Your back is one of the most important parts of your body. Not only does it house your spinal cord (which is responsible for most movement you make), but it holds your body up and keeps your shoulders and head upright. When your pelvis, head, and torso are out of alignment, however, your back is forced to carry their weight. This puts stress on your back muscles in a way that wasn’t designed for them. Practicing good posture gives your back some breathing room, which eases back pain.
3. The Straighter You Stand, the More Confident You Feel
I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “confidence is key.” Well, I’d argue that good posture is the key to confidence.
Studies have shown that when kids stand or sit up straight, they are more confident and productive than when their shoulders are slouched forward. When a person stands up straight, people around them are also more inclined to perceive self-confidence. This perceived confidence then leads to a boost in self-esteem and increased productivity. Higher self-esteem is nothing but beneficial, whether your child is a social butterfly or aspiring watercolor artist.
4. Better Breathing and Increased Lung Capacity
Practicing mindfulness is a great way to help kids enjoy the present moment and improve mental health. Both breathing and good posture are an essential aspect of mindfulness—but did you know that they work in tandem? It’s true! When you have bad posture and slouch your body forward, your lungs and other internal organs squish together. This stops your lungs from being able to expand completely, resulting in your body receiving less oxygen. This lack of oxygen in turn makes your breathing heavier.
Standing up straight, on the other hand, gives your lungs the full breadth of space that they need to intake an appropriate amount of oxygen. When you have more oxygen, your body has more energy to maintain proper posture.
Focusing on breath and posture is an excellent way for kids to start practicing mindfulness. Using a meditation app is another great option! Troomi phones feature a wealth of cool apps like Ambience, Headspace, and Antistress that guide kids through the meditation process, helping them concentrate, fall asleep, or take a load off and relax. Click here to learn a bit more!
5. Less Tension Means Fewer Headaches
If your kiddo is cursed with frequent headaches, their posture may be the culprit. Dropping your head forward forces your shoulders to follow suit, and shrugging your shoulders creates a lot of unnecessary bodily tension. This tension contributes to headaches. Removing this tension from your shoulders and back gives your body time to relax, which may lessen the frequency of headaches.
Be Mindful About Your Posture
It’s a bummer, but you and your child’s posture is not going to be perfect overnight—especially if you spend a lot of time with tech. It takes time and focus. Tell your child to be mindful and persistent in their mission to practice good posture. When you catch them slouching or putting unnecessary strain on their back muscles, gently help them stand up straight and give their muscles a break from the tension.
Above all, remind your kiddos to be kind to themselves! It’s important that they look at their posture without judgment and practice patience as they continue to improve it. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen.
Now take a deep breath, go on a walk, and stand up straight. Gee, I really sounded like my mom there.